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Michael Pollan's Food Rules

Michael Pollan's Food Rules to Live By

I've had a crush on Michael Pollan for a while now, and though the specifics of his food manifesto may be hard for everyone to adopt, I think his basic rules are ones to live by: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. (And processed food is not food.)

Whenever finishing a book or essay by Pollan, I always walk away with a new food rule myself. I was excited to see that in this year's annual New York Times Magazine food issue, Pollan turns the tables, asking what food rules we the readers live by.

There were thousands of submissions, and of those, Pollan picked the ones he felt made the most sense for a healthy life. What I found interesting was what he said about the ones he didn't use, "a banquet of food policies that even when they made little, if any, nutritional sense . . . nevertheless opened a window on our current thinking about food: the stories we tell ourselves, the games we play and the taboos we invoke to organize our eating lives."

I've been guilty of this myself — eating something "healthy" when it was nothing more than processed crap.

Learn a simple rule when you


The reader-submitted rules are fun and wise, and the NYT's presentation make them a treat to read through. One of my favorites:

Avoid snack foods with the "OH" sound in their names: Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos, Tostitos, Hostess Ho Hos, Etc. —Donna David

In this piece, Pollan offers up another one of his own rules that I adopted years ago: pick butter over trans-fat-loaded margarine. Surely he and Julia Child can't be wrong.

What food rules do you live by?

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