Last year Michael Pollan, one of the country’s leading experts on food, summoned the public’s wisdom in gathering food rules for eating well. “My premise,” said Pollan, “is that culture has a lot to teach us about how to choose, prepare and eat food, and that this wisdom is worth collecting and preserving before it disappears.”
Michael has harvested that “wisdom” into his new book: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.
Pollan argues that when it comes to eating we’ve deferred to the voices of science and industry instead of following the wisdom of our grandmothers. In fact, not eating anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food is one of many rules in Pollan’s new book.
Food Rules is divided into three sections, and each section includes a collection of rules totaling 64 rules in all. As Mary MacVean with the LATimes points out, Pollan’s new book is “meant to be a simple guide to eating, something anyone can use without reading through a lot of science and nutrition research.”
Indeed. Pollan’s book “Food rules” includes simple phrases like:
“Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.”
“Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot…There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food.”
“Always leave the table a little hungry.'”
“Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.”
As Pollan pointed out in his previous book, “In Defense of Food”, most of what we eat today is not food, it’s “edible food-like substances” no longer the products of nature but of food science.”Pollan wants to remind us of the unmistakable link between Western diets — using food coupons to buy fast food products, loaded with processed foods, sugar, and refined grains — and high rates of diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.