VIDEO: What is Nutritionism?

In my upcoming Real Food Nutrition & Health E-Course for students aged 12 & Up (including YOU!), the first lesson takes a look at how we make good food choices. We examine two competing ideologies. The first, called nutritionism, believes that it is the scientifically identifiable nutrients in food that make them nutritious. To eat well, you have to eat more of the “good” nutrients and less of the “bad” nutrients. And, because a nutrient is not something you can casually see, smell, or taste, you have to rely on experts to tell you what to eat.

While this may not seem all that bad on the surface, it has had disastrous consequences for our national health. In the video below, called Food, Not Nutrients, I explore the concept of nutritionism in depth (with a significant amount of help from Michael Pollan).


I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into the nutrition course!




Of course, there’s a lot more to this lesson! In the online classes, videos will be the starting point of some pretty thought-provoking discussions, along with relevant reading assignments, audio files, and a project that you can do from anywhere to help drive the lesson home. I’ll even be posting links to free supplemental material available elsewhere online (like the rest of Michael Pollan’s talk).

So, let’s discuss!

I’ll ask the questions. You help me out with some answers, okay?

  • What’s wrong with nutritionism? The video points out two problems with this ideology, can you think of others?
  • What are some of the biggest foibles of nutritionism in the past thirty years — “nutrients” the experts said were “good” or “bad” for us, about which they’ve now changed their minds?
  • There’s more to eating food than having a convenient vehicle for nutrients to enter your body. What are some of the other reasons to eat?


If you’re interested in finding out more about the class, including pricing information, frequently asked questions, the class schedule, and more, click here.

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