Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sensible Advice About Food

This is a great little book. 140 easy pages with lots of white space is perfect for a sit-down-and-read-in one sitting experience. Micheal Pollan is the author of several other books about food and how or why we chose what we do to put in our mouths, "heavier works" like The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and The Botany of Desire. I've not read any of them but they look interesting. His web site is informative; examining as he points out, "the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment".

His latest book, this little gem, is basically common sense, things we already know about eating well. I suppose it's all in the delivery, the spin, the power of saying more with less that makes this morsel a great bite.

Pollan says that all of his words in these 140 pages can be summed up by three sentences:

"Eat food.  Mostly plants. Not too much."
Clever, clever.

1. What should we eat? Real food of course; not the processed mess we think is real food.
"If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't." (page 41)
"It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car." (page 43)

2. What kind of food should we eat? "Mostly plants", says Pollan but....that's a mostly, thankfully.
"Eat animals that have themselves eaten well." (page 61)
"Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk." (page 79)
"Eat your colors." (page 57)

3. How should we eat? "Not too much."
"Stop eating before you are full." (page 103)
"Eat slowly." (page 109)
"The banquet is in the first bite." (page 111)

I especially like that last quote. So true except for ice cream. I swear to God, that last bite tastes the best.


  1. I'm sitting here saying yes, yes, yes. I've seen Michael Pollan on Oprah and like his philosphy, so much so that I am trying to do more of what he advises. Now I really want to read this book!


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