If this became required reading for everyone in school, at all levels, we would take a huge step forward in reversing America’s health crises, and the problems of agricultural pollution.
Michael Pollan’s most basic rule for eating is, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. But for many who have been eating the typical American diet this is not enough guidance since they have never experienced a healthy diet.
Where to start?
In this very short, very easy to read, and quite charming book the new rules for eating are broken down into three sections:
Part I: What should I eat?
Part II: What kind of food should I eat?
Part III: How should I eat?
Some of the rules are:
“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
“Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.”
“Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.”
“The whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead.”
“Pay more, eat less.”
“Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.”
“Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot…There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food.”
“Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.”
Pretty simple and straightforward.
Whatever “junk” food you eat, cook it yourself. So if you can’t live without french fries, make them yourself-you definitely won’t eat them as often and at least you will be starting with fresh potatoes.
This book is not a diet, but rather guidance for a new way (for most Americans) of eating sustainably. A way to eat that nurtures good health and helps to heal the planet in many ways…less travel miles for food to arrive at the market, less packaging, cleaner and more intelligent agriculture, more bio-diversity in crops, better health leading to more productivity and less pharmaceuticals taken, which are now finding their way into our water supplies, a reduction in factory farms that are polluting the air and waterways.
The benefits to following these rules are monumental and go very deep and wide. So if you are looking for some guidance for healthier eating this book is just what you have dreamt of, and if you are a Michael Pollan fan it is a must read.
You can order it here from an independent book store
By checking the side panels “Inspiring Books”, Michael Pollan’s other books are also just a click away.
Here is a nice overview from the NY Times Health Column on Feb 2, 2010