Michael Pollan’s latest, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, aims to distill all the food activist and author has learned into 64 simple rules:
The idea for this book came from a doctor–a couple of them, as a matter of fact. They had read my last book, “In Defense of Food”, which ended with a handful of tips for eating well: simple ways to navigate the treacherous landscape of modern food and the often-confusing science of nutrition. “What I would love is a pamphlet I could hand to my patients with some rules for eating wisely,” they would say. “I don’t have time for the big nutrition lecture and, anyway, they really don’t need to know what an antioxidant is in order to eat wisely.” […]
So I decided to take the doctors up on the challenge. I set out to collect and formulate some straightforward, memorable, everyday rules for eating, a set of personal policies that would, taken together or even separately, nudge people onto a healthier and happier path. I solicited rules from doctors, scientist, chefs, and readers, and then wrote a bunch myself, trying to boil down into everyday language what we really know about healthy eating. And while most of the rules are backed by science, they are not framed in the vocabulary of science but rather culture — a source of wisdom about eating that turns out to have as much, if not more, to teach us than nutritional science does.
#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
#36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
#47 Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
#58 Do all your eating at a table.
#64: Break the rules once in a while.
One of the places Pollan collected tips was from NYTimes’ readers. In their October Food Issue he posted he posted 20 of his favorites from the more than 2,500 he received there. Pollan discussed the book on The Daily Show last night, its first program of 2010. A highlight:
I think what’s about to happen, if we get this health care bill passed and there is some kind of minimal rules on pre-existing conditions and they can’t throw you off the plan, they have to take you, suddenly the health insurers will have an interest in your health that they don’t have now. Because right now the food industry creates patients for the health care industry.