About the Author

Nidhi Kulkarni is a Computer Science major in the MIT class of 2012. Nidhi rows for the MIT Varsity Lightweight Crew team and likes to run and play the viola in her free time. She has always loved to read but never has seriously practiced writing; so for her writing is, as Joan Didion puts it, a piano played by ear. Though generally dreadfully uncommunicative, Nidhi will talk enthusiastically (and won't shut up) if you ask her about her music collection, the Violent Femmes, neural networks, or rowing.

On Writing "Seeing the Whole: A Review of In Defense of Food ":
"For this assignment, our class had a choice of essay prompts about the ideas presented in Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. Under the book review option, Dr. Boiko had written that a book review was a great way to mingle your words with those of the writer's. This idea sounded appealing, so I chose to write a review.

A book review should be more than a summary of the book and the reviewer's opinion. I tried to approach this review as a way to discuss an original idea-- that the reductionist mentality towards food that Pollan talks about in his book is part of a larger theme in the American mentality. I developed an interest in public policy and foreign relations in high school so I gravitated towards this area when trying to come up with a new idea based on Pollan's work. Once I came up with this theme, I organized the review around it. I started by summarizing Pollan's ideas and giving a short summary of the book in the first part of the essay. Then, I introduced my idea at the end of the review by connecting it to the things I had already written about. I found it very helpful to use an epigraph at the beginning of my essay to both highlight the main point and keep me on track while writing it.

This essay ended up being my favorite of all the assignments we had in this class. It was fun to try and extend the ideas in In Defense of Food and mix my words and ideas with Pollan's."


Seeing the Whole: A Review of In Defense of Food

by Nidhi Kulkarni

This article has been removed at the author's request.