Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Michael Pollan's "Food Rules"

This was the latest book I read. It's really short, a VERY quick read indeed. But I really loved this book. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. Well everyone that EATS, that is (& that would be EVERYONE, would it not?).

So I'm gonna post here his food rules. The book has a page or two of further explanation of each rule, so if anyone wants that on any particular rule just comment & let me know.

First allow me to explain how the book is set up. It is set up in 3 parts. He asks that you adopt AT LEAST ONE (but you can certainly adopt MORE than that) from each section.

His bottom line is this: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." And so the first section of the book deals with the first sentence--it deals with WHAT to eat. The second section of the book deals with the third sentence--WHAT KINDS of foods to eat. And the third section deals with the second sentence--HOW MUCH to eat.

So, without further ado, the FOOD RULES

Part One--What should I eat? (eat food)
1)Eat food (not "edible food-like substances")
2)Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food
3)Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
4)Avoid food products that contain high fructose corn syrup
5)Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top 3 ingredients
6)Avoid food products that contain more than 5 ingredients (he emphasizes not to be too strict on this, it depends on what it is, but you get the idea)
7)Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a 3rd grader cannot pronounce
8)Avoid food products that make health claims
9)Avoid food products with the wordoid "lite" or the terms "low fat" or "nonfat" in their names
10)Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not (ie margarine, soy-based mock meats, etc)
11) Avoid foods you see advertised on television
12) Shop the peripheries of the supermarket & stay out of the middle section of the store
13) Eat only foods that will eventually rot
14) Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature
15) Get out of the supermarket whenever you can (ie farmers' markets, health food stores, etc)
16) Buy your snacks at a farmers' market
17) Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans
18) Don't ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
19) If it came from a plant-eat it; if it was made in a plant-don't eat it
20) It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car
21) It's not food if it's called by the same name in every language (think Big Mac, Cheetos, Pringles, etc)

Part Two--what KIND of food should I eat? (mostly plants)
22) Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
23) Treat meat as a flavoring or a special occasion food
24) "Eating what stands on one leg (plants) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl), which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, pigs, & other mammals). (this is a Chinese proverb & he states he is disappointed that it does not include fish)
25) Eat your colors
26) Drink the spinach water (save water that veggies were cooked in & use in soups or drink it--full of nutrients)
27) Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
28) If you have the space, buy a freezer (stock up on good meats while on sale & buy produce while in season at it's cheapest in bulk & freeze them)
29) Eat like an omnivore
30) Eat well-grown food from healthy soil
31) Eat wild foods when you can
32) Don't overlook the oily little fishies
33) Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi (ie fermented foods & dairy products)
34) Sweeten & salt your food yourself
35) Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature
36) Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk
37) The whiter the bread the sooner you'll be dead
38) Favor the kinds of oils & grains that have traditionally been stone-ground
39) Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself from scratch
40) Be the kind of person who takes supplements--and then skip the supplements
41) Eat more like the French, or the Japanese, or the Italians, or the Greeks
42) Regard non-traditional foods with skepticism
43) Have a glass of wine with dinner

Part Three--HOW should I eat (not too much)
44) Pay more, eat less (ie quality over quantity when it comes to food)
45) ....eat less (calorie restriction in animals slows the aging process & increases their health)
46) Stop eating before you're full
47) Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored
48) Consult your gut (regarding portion size)
49) Eat slowly
50) The banquet is in the first bite (no other bite will taste as good as the first)
51) Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it
52) Buy smaller plates & glasses
53) Serve a proper portion & don't go back for seconds
54) Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper
55) Eat meals (not snacking &/or grazing all day)
56) Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods
57) Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does (don't eat gas station mini-mart food)
58) Do all your eating at a table
59) Try not to eat alone
60) Treat treats as treats
61) Leave something on your plate
62) Plant a vegetable garden if you have space, a window box if you don't
63) Cook
64) Break the rules once in a while

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fantastic post! Gotta love Michael Pollan.