Monday, February 8, 2010


Reposted from Rudd Sound Bites
Where food policy meets real life.
Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Food Rules in Review

by Meghan O'Connell

I really enjoyed Michael Pollan’s latest book, “Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.” In it, he answers three basic questions, in three short chapters: Chapter 1 - What should I eat? Eat Food; Chapter 2 - What kind of food should I eat? Mostly Plants; and Chapter 3 - How should I eat? Not too much.

Each chapter contains “food rules,” which Pollan explains are his personal policies, used to avoid the Western diet and its health consequences. He includes food knowledge that has been passed down through generations in families and later confirmed by science. The wisdom he shares comes from his attention to history and various cultural eating practices, rather than discoveries in food labs. Some rules he created himself, and some were shared with him by readers of his blog and interviews with people from all walks of life.

Not only are these rules simple and memorable, many are also quite funny. I am betting this book will make for some great water cooler conversation. Here is a small sample of eating tips you will learn from reading the book:

“Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.”

“Eat only foods that will eventually rot.”

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

“Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.”

At least a few of the 64 Food Rules Pollan outlines in the book are bound to stick with you. A few of the more memorable ones may actually change the way you eat. Mr. Pollan was asked for some straightforward advice about eating, rather than a complicated nutrition lecture. He has delivered!