A new Michael Pollan book: Food Rules

I've enjoyed Michael Pollan's books, especially The Omnivore's Dilemna and In Defense of Food. Both of those won James Beard Awards, often termed "the Oscars of Food." Now Pollan, who is the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley, has published a slender volume of sixty-four "Food Rules" designed to help us get off the "Western Diet."  He defines that as lots of processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of refined grains, lots of everything except vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and associates it with high rates of chronic diseases.

That being said (and I fully agree with Pollan), he feels we should be eating more vegetables and fruits and less red meat. The sixty-four dictums include some that are humorous, some that are just plain sensible and many that were new to me.

Here's a few of my favorites: #2 Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food; #7 Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce; #19 If it came from a plant eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't; #25 Eat your colors (My wife Lynnette likes to prepare dinners with a variety of food colors: carrots; beets and greens, for example; Pollan note the varied colors of vegetables show us they contain different antioxidants).

I love #64 Break the rules once in a while. Having lost twenty-eight pounds over the last eight months (using some food rules I came up with myself in 1996), I'm at my goal weight. Last night I wore my fifty-year-old University of Wisconsin athletic sweater to an informal fund-raiser for the local food bank; it fit! I had six small bowls of soup, a salad, a roll and two small dishes of ice cream. When I weighed myself this morning, I had lost two tenths of a pound (I had also eaten sparingly and worked out at the gym preceding the event).

I really enjoyed Pollan's book and will refer  to his rules frequently.

4 Responses to “A new Michael Pollan book: Food Rules”

  1. Maggie says:

    Hi Peter! I really should read Pollan's books as they fall in with what I want to do and am having trouble doing.
    Great blog. I will definitely be back.

  2. Peter Springberg says:

    Thanks, Maggie. I probably should have noted that "Food Rules" is published by Penguin and sells for $11. For the majority of the sixty-four rules, Pollan has written short commentary paragraphs. Look at rule #24 if you get a chance.

  3. Luana Krause says:

    Peter: I really enjoyed this book. Short, sweet and to the point. Lots of excellent tips. I like #51: Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it. And #57: Don't get your fuel from the same place as your car does. A also like #55: Eat meals.

  4. Peter Springberg says:

    Hi Luana, I also really liked the pithy comments in "Food Rules." My only problem was picking which rules to blog about since I had so many favorites.

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