Food Rules or Food Habits

I read Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” book yesterday.  It only took 90 minutes, and I admittedly read it while I was eating lunch.  Deduct points for mindless eating!  Take a look at it if you get a chance.  While I don’t agree with all of the rules, they are food for thought – sorry couldn’t resist.  The title bothers me a bit because I don’t like applying rules to food.  It creates a foods allowed vs. foods to avoid, rigid, good vs. bad food scenario.  “Food Habits” might have been a good alternative because habits imply a behavior you practice more often than not.   The core of his book “eat mostly whole, unprocessed, fresh foods” is the guiding principle for his 64 rules.   Here are a few excerpts from the book you might enjoy.

 #2 It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.

#6 Avoid food products that contain > 5 ingredients.  Ok, I just went grocery shopping and the only items I would have put in my cart would have been from the outer aisles: produce, meat, dairy, eggs, deli and wine 🙂   A few inner aisle ingredients such as rice, pasta, beans & 100% fruit juice made it too.  I had a friend who challenged her family to do this for a week this summer.  I wonder if they  formed a mutiny on her?

#64 Break rules once in a while.

#11 Avoid food products advertised on television.  If we enforced that rule, my kids might stop watching television.  Interesting thought!

#19 If it came from a plant eat it, if it was made in a plant don’t!

Eat animals that have eaten well. I don’t recall what rule that was but I like it.  He also added an addendum that included “and only those that are treated well”.  I 100% agree and am glad I remembered our Food Coop order this month.  Free range and grass-fed will soon be stocking our freezer.

#24 is a Chinese proverb.  “Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better  than eating what stands on two legs (chicken, turkey, bird) which is better than what stands on four legs (pigs, cows, mammals)”  The proverb needs a little tweaking at the beginning “Eating what has no legs (fish)…

 #36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.  That’s a good one.  It reminds me of the time I fed my two-year old, blue, Mott’s applesauce.  His favorite character was Blue from Blue’s Clues and Dora had promoted the applesauce during a commercial break.  I tossed the containers after his diaper’s were literally blue for 2 days straight.

 #37 The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.  Very descriptive, maybe they should hang a sign saying this down the bread aisle in the grocery store?

Have you read the book?  Which rules did you agree or disagree with?

Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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1 reply

  1. Love my daughter’s honesty & mind! I was reading her excerpts from my blog post on Michael Pollen’s “Food Rules”. By the time I got to #6 “Avoid foods that contain >5 ingredients on the label” she stopped me and said “OMG mom, it’s not like we’re not pilgrims anymore!” Glad to see the fact that I am a dietitian hasn’t tarnished her adolescent perspective.


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