Americans just can’t seem to find that crucial equilibrium when it comes to eating a diet of healthful and enjoyable foods. We have become adherents to the idea of nutritionism, a reductionist concept popularized by the food writer Michael Pollan that shows we erroneously see foods as a collection of nutrients, and that food is nothing more than the sum of its parts. This leads to our attraction to all sorts of products that espouse questionable health claims (low-fat, fiber-rich, omega-rich, etc) as well as leading us further and further away from any guiding food tradition of our own. So we look to the diets of the Japanese, the French, as well as the people of the Mediterranean region to provide us with some pathway and guidance. But we are kind of hapless in our pursuit of true balance.