'In Defense of Food' is short on science

2009-09-23T17:40:00Z 'In Defense of Food' is short on scienceRic Grummer, professor, UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science madison.com

UW-Madison chose "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan as the first selection for the Go Big Read initiative.

Most of the book deals with food and nutritional sciences. But the author certainly provides an opinion regarding modern food production.

As a biologist studying animal production, I must point out that this book conveys an individual's biased and disputed view of today's food and agricultural systems.

In contrast, UW-Madison for decades has stood for research excellence and the scientific process. In that spirit, many faculty members have worked diligently to identify means by which farmers can meet world demand for a safe, wholesome and economical food supply while earning a reasonable wage.

In doing so, they have met the rigors of peer review so unbiased information can be distributed to both the scientific and lay communities.

The opinions and reasoning articulated by "In Defense of Food" do not adhere to the scientific principles that should define a premier research university or guide what faculty pass on to their students in the classroom.

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