Food Rules: an Eater’s Manual
Are you fed up with nutrition advice that cripples your ability to eat healthy?
Millions of words are written every year espousing one food fad after another. Much of this information contradicts itself and you are left standing in the grocery store gripped by analysis paralysis. It’s no wonder you want to throw in the dish towel and stop for take out.
Enter Food Rules. The rule book to end all rule books on healthy eating.Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is a compilation of 64 bites of practical wisdom for eating well. Illustrated by Maira Kalman, it is a gorgeous little book that strips away confusing, complicated nutritional gymnastics and puts food back in its place – on the table, to enjoy.Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That’s what keeps the site up and running. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I use personally and believe will add value.
Why Read This Book?
- You are tired of being confused by conflicting magazine articles touting the latest food research?
- You intuitively know there is something crazy about eliminating entire food groups from human existence.
- Cookbooks that require complicated drawings of food molecules make your head hurt.
- The family needs to eat – preferably tonight.
I ignored Michael Pollan’s books for a long time. I’m ashamed to say, I had the prejudiced idea that he was another hippy-dippy radical food terrorist. “The earth is screwed, let’s all eat sprouts.” type.
I’m just old enough to have lived through a few nutrition regimens. When I started cooking in the 90’s, the goal was to remove every last drop of fat possible.
Fat was responsible for all the bad things.
Now fat is good – grain is out. Whatever.
I’m glad the pretty pictures attracted me to Food Rules. Shallow, but true.
The illustrated version is beautiful. I read it in one sitting.
And, like Lucy in ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, I looked up and yelled,
Food. Simple. Wholesome. Real. How refreshing!
I’m all for eating things that make you feel healthy and avoiding foods that make you feel horrible. No hate mail, please. If gluten gives you cramps – by all means, don’t eat gluten.
But, food has become the suburban version of gang warfare. We flash our food gang symbols, defend our territory and push our personal version of the “perfect diet”.
Woe to the mom that dares to bring muffins made with white flour to a potluck. She may as well set down a bowl of crack. The nutritional heathen!
And the food factories get rich…
Part 1 begins with Rule #1 Eat Real Food and ends with Rule #24 When You Eat Real Food, You Don’t Need Rules.
Part 2 explains what kind of food to eat. Mostly Plants. This inspired my Eat More Produce Experiment.
Part 3 finishes off with rules that will make life better. It turns out that rational eating lines up with intentional family routines. Rule #78 Eat With Other People Whenever You Can and Rule #73 Do All Your Eating at a Table are two pieces of advice that will improve your family’s lifestyle.
Other Books by Pollan:
There is an excellent 4-part documentary based on this book – check Netflix for ‘Cooked’
An excellent article on the state of home cooking in the New York Times: Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch
Other Books Illustrated by Maira Kalman:
If you enjoy this topic here are a few great posts from around the web:
Rules Worth Following, for Everyone’s Sake by Jane Brody
Food Rules book review at Coffee and Quinoa
Michael Pollan’s website