This book is sooooo good. All of you MUST read it ASAP. It will change your whole outlook on food, and life, really. For any of you who are confused by which diet is right, and what foods you're supposed to be eating, this book is your answer.
Pollan explores how we've come to rely on science, "nutritionism", to tell us what to eat rather than culture...and this is what is essentially killing us. This is why we have the strange phenomena in the West of having many people who are over-fed, but under-nourished. I laughed out loud as I read about how we consume so many food-like substances that are processed rather than eating real whole foods. Ha! READ THIS BOOK!
I love his food algorithms. They are as follows:
01. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
02. Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as a food.
03. Don't eat anything incapable of rotting (i.e. Twinkies)
04. Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar b) unpronounceable c) more than 5 in number or that include d) high fructose corn syrup. He gives the example of Sara Lee "bread"...your grandmother might recognize bread as a food, but will not recognize any of the highly processed ingredients. Her idea is of bread is: flour, yeast, salt, water. Period.
05. Avoid food products that make health claims. (Read the book and this will make so much sense)
06. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
07. Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. Shake the hand that feeds you. Meet the farmer who grows your food-go to the farmer's market!!!
08. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. (concerning meat: we do not need it other than the B12 it provides...but we would be wise to eat it sparingly, and only as a flavor principle, rather than a a main course).
09. You are what you eat eats too. (The soil the plants are grown in and what the animals are eating is very important too).
10. If you have the space, buy a freezer. (you can stock up on fresh produce in the summer and store it).
11. Eat well-grown food from healthy soils.
12. Eat wild foods when you can.
13. Be the kind of person who takes supplements. (it's not necessarily the pills, but people who tend to take supplements also tend to be more healthy in general...they're just more health conscious).
14. Regard nontraditional food with skepticism.
15. Don't look for the magic bullet in the traditional diet.
16. Have a glass of wine with dinner ( I say have some home made grape juice. I am very anti-alcohol for many many reasons. So I disagree with Pollan here).
17. Pay more, eat less. It's about quality, not quantity.
18. Eat meals. (duh!)
19. Do all your eating at a table.
20. Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does.
21. Try not to eat alone.
22. Consult your gut.
23. Eat slowly. (a shout out to the SLOW FOOD movement...don't let the name confuse you. If you want to find out more about Slow Food read Slow Food by Carlo Petrini. This movement originated in Italy. All of us would agree that the food in Italy is absolutely divine!)
24. Cook, and if you can, plant a garden.
So there you have it. These are my new rules. I like that it doesn't say things like "don't eat cheese, avoid carbs, eat antioxidants" etc. I predict that these rules will stand the test of time.