Sunday, February 7, 2010

Food Rules

Food Rules!

It's the sort of thing you might hear a twelve year old kid who really likes food might say, "Food really Rules, man!"

Food Rules, the book by Michael Pollan (author of Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, both of which I highly recommend) unpacks simple down-to-earth advice for people who eat.

His basic philosophy about eating can be summed up in seven words:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.

This book offers 64 common-sense rules that, if followed, will make you and the world we share a much healthier organism.

Here is Rule # 19, part of the explanation of what he means when he says, "Eat food":

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

Much of what you can buy in a grocery store these days is a food-like substance. One more (then I'll quit, I promise), this one's Rule #2:

Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Those are exactly the kind of common sense 'rules' (I like the word guidelines or principles better) we need. Up here we have The Canada Food Rules which seem to have been written by the Wheat Board and the Beef Industry.

I am going to get Pollans books. My daughter told me about his documentary called, 'Food, Inc.' which is supposed to be an eye-opener too.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Bonnie—

Pollan is one of the best writers in the business right now. Omnivore's Dilemma is his best book, in my opinion, so if you go for only one, that's the one.

I agree about the semantics. I, too, prefer 'guidelines' as contrasted to 'rules'. I think probably Michael does, too. Publishers would never put out a book called "Food Guidelines." It wouldn't sell.

I saw Food, Inc. last summer. By all means, see it. Your eyes will open. Pollan has a small part in the movie. That said, be ready to shut your eyes when they take you inside the pig slaughterhouse.

The Pollinatrix said...

I haven't read Pollan's books yet, although they've been on my list for a while. I have the Food, Inc. website bookmarked, but haven't seen the film yet. This post gives me the impetus to put these things higher on my to do list.

Dan Gurney said...

The Pollinatrix shall read the Pollanator! There's something magical about that, don't you think? Omnivore's Dilemma is literary non-fiction, my favorite genre. Admittedly, he's a local guy and a lot of the stuff he talks about in that book happened right here in my neck of the woods. But still, a very satisfying read.

Food Inc. is worth seeing for sure.

The Pollinatrix said...

You know, I almost said something along those lines, but thought, nah, that's too cheesy.

I looked for In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto when I was doing a lot of reading about the global food crisis and local eating last year, but it was always checked out of the library.

I love literary non-fiction as well. I aspire to it in my own writing.

Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? (I may have already asked you that, forgive me if you've already told me.)

Dan Gurney said...

Cheese. Yum.

Yes, Barbara Kingsolver's book was a real confection. I loved it, especially the funny stories about her young daughter's chicken enterprise.

The Pollinatrix said...

You're making me giggle.

~ MCJArt ~ said...

Thanks Dan ~ sooooo significant ~ sooooo misunderstood in our world!

PS: I love the grandmother rule ~ mine lived to be 100!

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks for leaving a comment MCJ. My grandmas lived long lives too, not up to 100, but close. I wonder how many of our grandchildren will reach such ages.