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"I've been writing about the food system for a very long time," Pollan said in the trailer for the new film. "But what I kept hearing from readers was 'yeah yeah yeah, you told me where the food comes from and how the animals live and everything, but what I want to know is what should I eat.'"
In the film, Pollan attempts to answer that very question: What should I eat to be healthy? He addresses what he has called the "American paradox: the more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become."
We're consuming "edible food-like substances" rather than actual food, Pollan said. By actual food, he means the food people ate for thousands of years before we became dependent on processed foods.
“You don’t have to be a scientist to know how to eat,” said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University. “Just go around the outside of the supermarket and pick up fruits, vegetables and meat, and stay out of the processed foods, because they’re fun to eat once in a while, but they shouldn’t be daily fare.”
From Tanzania to Peru to U.S. grocery stores, Pollan helps eaters find their way through the barrage of faulty nutritional science and misleading marketing claims. He advocates for a more simplified approach to eating, one based on common sense and old-fashioned wisdom. Using a more holistic approach to medicine, Pollan focuses on the macro level (eating whole foods) rather than the micro level (seeking out particular nutrients).
The film covers everything from the latest science on omega-3s and -6s, to sugar's effect on the body and why we crave it so badly. Pollan unpacks nutritional guidelines and investigates the benefits of a plant-based diet, and the crucial role your gut plays in your overall health.
Pollan is well known for his simple food rules—he's even got an entire book devoted to the topic. In this film, Pollan says the solution to America's health crisis is undeniably simple: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.
For years, Pollan has advocated for a climate-friendly diet built on regenerative organic agriculture—also known as carbon farming—in which soils are a carbon sink rather than a source of carbon pollution. He argues that this diet is not only essential for a healthy planet, but also essential for human health. "Four of the top 10 things that will kill you are chronic diseases linked to diet," Pollan explains in the trailer.
So if you're planning to set weight loss resolutions this New Year's or are seeking a low-impact diet (which, by the way, makes you a climatarian), then be sure to watch Pollan's new documentary. It will air on PBS at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday and premier at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October 2016.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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