Review: "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan

If you have read The Omnivore's Dilemma or In Defense of Food, you are already a fan of Michael Pollan. As a journalist he has set out to discover the truth behind nutrition and what we should really eat, and in the process become an expert on this issue. If you have not read anything by Michael Pollan then Food Rules: An Eater's Manual is the place for you to start.

Pollan takes his mantra, "Eat food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants" and puts it into 64 easy rules for you to follow. For anyone who wants to make a change in their diet, but doesn't know where to start, this is the only place to go. Pollan doesn't buy into fad diets, or food industry marketing ploys. Rather he takes us back to a time when our food was natural and free from industry strongholds, and shows us how we can continue to eat this way even in this time. Turns out, it's not as hard or expensive as people think it is.

Some of my favourite rules include:
#18 - Don't ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
#20 - It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car
#36 - Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the colour of the milk

Some of the rules I'm trying hard to follow:
#41 - Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
#49 - Eat slowly
#56 - Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods

One of the best features about Pollan's writing is that it is not preachy. He doesn't make you feel bad for making the food choices you currently make. He just wants to educate you on what you are really eating and help you make better choices at the supermarket. By following a new set of rules we can reduce illness, our weight and our health care costs. And don't worry about rigidity - rule number 64 states "Break the rules once in a while."


  1. I think the writer probably has a lot of great ideas about foods. I also like the rule about the surgical cap (but it sure beats the alternative of no surgical cap).

    My husband would love this book.


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