Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual is a book written by Michael Pollan, designed to make an average persons relationship to food simpler and healthier.


Michael Pollan is a journalist attempting to answer the questions everyone asks himself or herself: What do I eat? And what do I need to know about my diet and health? He thinks of nutritional science as a very “young science” with plenty of room to grow and attempts to answer our questions in an easy to understand fashion.


After researching nutrition for years in order to write previous book, In Defense of Food, he decided to focus on the simple conclusion of all his research...


Eat Food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants.


His last book, full of nutritional research taught him that information and this book breaks down the theory, history, and science and relates it to our everyday lives. He condensed his years of knowledge to make all of us healthier. He began by splitting the main issues of health into two solid, overarching facts:


            FACT ONE: People who eat the Western diet of processed foods, meats, added fat and sugar, and refined grain, with very few vegetables, fruits, and whole grains suffer from high rates of Western diseases. These diseases are obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. This diet as a whole is the problem, not something specific in it.


            FACT TWO: People who eat from a wide range of traditional diets don’t suffer from those diseases. There is no single ideal human diet, the idea is to be a human omnivore and adapt to a wide range of different foods and different diets.


These facts are the base of his rules and the main issues he is targeting with his simple, day-to-day changes.


Pollan states that the best rules and ideas were passed down in the form of food habits, combinations, manners, rules, taboos, and everyday seasonal practices. Organized the rules into 64 rules designed to be guidelines to help making everyday healthy decisions easier and easier over time. Each section deals with a different dimension of a persons eating life, and they are all important to incorporate into everyday life. Written as a “choral voice of popular food wisdom.”


I read this book with the central focus of connecting it to our projects and incorporating them into our food hub programs, and I discovered that all of this knowledge could easily be incorporated into educational programs for the community, especially for children. These rules could also work as guidelines for food vendors when they are selecting food to sell. Overall, it is just great information to know and will be very useful in everyday life.