Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

Michael Pollan’s latest book distills food wisdom still further.

One reason why eating has become much more complicated than it used to be, claims journalist Michael Pollan, is that the voices in our heads have changed. In place of your grandmother’s voice quipping, “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead,” you’re much more likely to hear a stream of injunctions from nutritional science. And if you can’t always remember the difference between an antioxidant and a free radical in the grocery-store aisle, you’re not the only one.

Pollan’s previous book, In Defense of Food (Penguin, 2009), sought to remedy the reigning confusion about eating with his now-famous adage, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” This new book distills this wisdom still further — into three groups of handy one-liners he designed to be recalled easily at the grocery store or dinner table.

For example: “Avoid food products with health claims.” “Eat your colors.” And “Only eat junk food if you made it yourself.” Why? Pollan suggests that after going to the trouble and mess it takes to make French
fries, you’re likely to enjoy them a lot more — and a lot less often.

An easy way into Pollan’s recent work for those who haven’t read it all, and a nice summary of key points for those who have.

Leave a Comment