Thursday, April 1, 2010

Food Rules : An Eater's Manual - Michael Pollan

Summary: Eating doesn't have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with the clarity, concision and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan's trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation. It's an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, "What should I eat?" (Image from - Sumary from book)

My Review: It wasn't that long ago that we reviewed another of Michael Pollan's books, In Defense of Food -- a highly informative, if somewhat dry, expose on food industry deception and a motivational appeal to eat real food. We gave it an average rating of 4.25 stars and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in how to better their diet without falling victim to fads and false health claims.

For the busy reader, this book is that book in pretty much every way - but shorter. It's only about 140 pages and can be read in less than an hour. Hallelujah! Pollan gives a "rule" on each page followed by a short explanatory paragraph. Some of these rules are common-sense (yet essential) guidelines about not eating anything that can be delivered through the window of your car, while most require a little more effort and commitment to implement, like avoiding foods that make health claims or treating meat as a flavoring instead of a main dish.

I enjoyed reading Food Rules more than In Defense of Food, if for no other reason that I got the overall gist of the book (with all the tips, tricks, and soundbites) in a much shorter time span than it took me to read the expanded version. Ultimately, Food Rules most useful attribute was that it allows me to easily, but quietly, recite these food rules while walking down the grocery aisle (or, ideally, it's periphery). Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it all the junk food you want as long as you cook it all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself...

My rating: 4 Stars

Sum it up: A condensed version of In Defense of Food. If you've been meaning to read it, read this instead.


Sweet Em said...

I guess as an avid cookie dough mixer/eater/sometimes-cooker I can claim to be a health-conscious fatty. :)

MindySue said...

Food rule #39 - Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.

I love this guy.


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