Michael Pollan is a New York Times best selling author. He has written some books you may have heard of… The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I have also seen him in the documentaries; Food Inc. and The Botany of Desire. I have to say I have always agreed with his view on food systems in our country and what it is we should be eating. His latest work is more of a hand book called Food Rules, an eater’s manual. I picked it up on my mom’s living room table one evening and have read it several times… I even carry it around in my bag most of the time. It’s short, easy to read and right within my reach when my best judgement about what to eat escapes me for a while.
So basically when the question is asked “What should I eat?”, he has answered it with seven words.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Sounds simply enough right? The book is based on 64 simple rules that have been collected and framed in the terms of culture and not science. Not because the science isn’t important but because you don’t have to know the amount of omega 3’s or antioxidants that are contained in your food to know and feel that it’s good for you.
Some of my favorite rules:
#2-Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
#7-Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
#11- Avoid foods you see advertised on television.
#12- Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
#13-Eat only foods that will eventually rot (there are a few exceptions to this rule).
#14 Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; If it was made in a plant, don’t.
#23 Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food. #27 Eat animals that have eaten well themselves.
#64 Break the rules once in a while. Being obsessive over food rules is bad for your happiness.