- Paperback: 140 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Group USA; 1 edition (1 January 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780143116387
- ISBN-13: 978-0143116387
- ASIN: 014311638X
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 1 x 18 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 113 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Food Rules: An Eater's Manual Paperback – 29 Dec 2009
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About the Author
Michael Pollan, recently featured on Netflix in the four-part series Cooked, is the author of seven previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
This was the bottom line, and it was satisfying to have found it, a piece of hard ground deep down at the bottom of the swamp of nutrition science: seven words of plain English, no biochemistry degree required. But it was also somewhat alarming, because my publisher was expecting a few thousand words more than that. Fortunately for both of us, I realized that the story of how simple a question as what to eat had ever gotten so complicated was one worth telling, and that became the focus of that book.
The focus of this book is very different. It is much less about theory, history, and science than it is about our daily lives and practice. In this short, radically pared-down book, I unpack those seven words of advice into a comprehensive set of rules, or personal policies, designed to help you eat real food in moderation and, by doing so, substantially get off the Western diet. The rules are phrased in everyday language; I deliberately avoid the vocabulary of nutrition or biochemistry, though in most cases there is scientific research to back them up.”
~ Michael Pollan from Food Rules
Michael Pollan is the author of a number of New York Times best-selling books on nutrition (including In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma). He’s a longtime New York Times contributor and Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
If you’re looking for a SUPER compact, witty look at the primary rules on how to eat well, this is it. I HIGHLY recommend you pick up a copy as I think it’s the page-for-page best guide on the basic fundamentals of nutrition.
It’s a fun, witty, concise guide to eating well featuring 64 food rules structured around Pollan’s seven words of wisdom:
Part 1 = Eat food.
Part 2 = Mostly plants.
Part 3 = Not too much.
I'm excited to share some of favorite Big Ideas:
1. Nutrition: 2 Facts - Everyone agrees on.
2. Rule #1: Eat Food - Not edible foodlike substances.
3. Low-Fat - Made us fat.
4. Will Your Food Rot? - Good test.
5. 66% - 80% - Not too much.
Let’s have fun optimizing our food rules as we eat food... not too much... mostly plants!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
If you are already a Michael Pollan fan, you appreciate his meticulous attention to detail in his research and his lucid prose. I swear, this guy could take the most complicated subject on the planet and make it accessible to his readers. In Cooked, I think he has reached a new peak in his powers of synthesis and observation.
Cooked is divided into four parts, analogous to the four elements described by the ancient Greeks: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Of these, it was the section on Earth (fermentation) that really made me sit up and take notice. He brings up so many important points about how our Western diet fails us every day, making our lifespans shorter and our health more precarious.
In its way, Cooked is as important a book about health and nutrition as Diet for a Small Planet was when it first appeared in the 1970s. This book will make you think, give you tools to improve your health, and explain how cooking a meal from scratch in your own kitchen becomes an act of rebellion.
So worth your time and the purchase price.
The links between diet and health according to this novel is that individuals who eat a Western diet (lots of processed food, food with added sugar and fat, and lots of refined grains) will suffer from Western diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardio diseases. That totally makes sense to me but I didn’t know it was known as a Western diet. The second link is that if you eat a traditional diet (a lot of different varieties here) you will not suffer from these diseases. Which basically means, no one diet is perfect but as humans we have adapted to different diets to make them work for us. The Western diet, as it stands now, is the diet which makes everyone ill. Inside this novel, there are 64 rules to live by to eat a healthy diet. These rules are explained further with a brief explanation, if needed.
Some of these rules I had heard about before but about half of them were new to me. There are three parts to the novel: What to eat? What kinds of food should I eat? And How should I eat? Each of these parts have different rules to follow. I liked that these rules are, for the most part, something I could memorize on my own and therefore, I could recall when need be. There is the rule about not eating food that you cannot say, rule about eating a variety of colors, and a rule about eating at a table, these are a few of the rules I already knew.
Here are a few of the rules that I really enjoyed:
Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.
So, cellulose, thiamine mononitrate is not something I would have on hand, therefore this product should not be in my house.
Avoid food products that contain more than 5 ingredients.
Wow, that would eliminate a lot of the processed foods I have on hand.
Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
Again cellulose, thiamine mononitrate are out and I need to start thinking simple.
Cook food that has only been cooked by humans.
Again, lots of preservatives, added sugar, and other interesting items are added which we don’t need.
Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
This one is a killer. I have literally cut down on the number of French fries I eat as I think this rule says it all. I’m not physically making French fries out of potatoes every time I want them, it’s too time consuming and too much work. The novel says there is nothing wrong with sweets, soda and other sweet snacks as long as you prepare them yourself. If I had to prepare potato chips, snack crackers, or cookies as much as I consume them, my consumption would really go down.
Spend as much time enjoying your meal as it took to prepare it.
I think this book has a lot to offer, things you might know and things that you should know. I like the short and sweet aspect of the novel, it’s not a wordy or a complex read, the author gives his readers just the facts in an easy way to think about them and how to apply them to their own lives. I’m ready to jump on board and I know it will take some time, strength and willpower to incorporate these rules but I know the benefits will be worth it.