Food Rules

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

I just finished reading Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. It’s a super quick read, and is a great ‘guidebook for eating’.

Here are some of the Rules that stand out to me:

Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.

The specific number you adopt is arbitrary, but the more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is.

I used to eat a lot of Lean Cuisine’s and 100 calorie snack packs because (both of which have an ingredient list a mile long) I thought that simply eating less calories was better for me. Not exactly. Often I’d get done eating a 100 calorie snack pack and would instantly crave another. That’s because the artificial sugars in these foods are addicting and the lack of nutritional value leaves you hungry. By eating whole, natural foods, you’ll fell satiated much longer and you will benefit from the nutrients in the simple foods.

Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.

Processed food products dominate the center aisles of the store, while the cases of mostly fresh food-produce, meat and fish, dairy-line the walls.

I was actually surprised when I saw this rule because last time I was at the grocery store I had been thinking of how little I usually buy from the middle aisles. I’ve even started buying bread from the bakery instead of the packaged kind. Which on a side note reminds me of how awesome it is that our local grocery store has a fresh almond butter grinder in it. I am seriously addicted to this stuff and its way better for you than peanut butter. Plus its so satisfying to see it ground into butter right there before your eyes so you can be absolutely sure of its contents.

Get out of the supermarket whenever you can.

What you will find [at the farmers market] are fresh, whole foods harvested at the peak of their taste and nutritional quality.

It was a difficult adjustment to move to a town where there isn’t a farmers market. One of my husband and I’s favorite things to do on Saturday mornings in Winter Park, Fl. was to go to the farmers market. It was a block away from our studio and it was the best way to get food for fresh home cooked week-end meals. Heck – we loved the Winter Park Farmers Market so much we rented out the old train station it was housed in for our wedding reception!

And my favorite…

It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.

I’ve avoided fast food for years now. I honestly just don’t like it. But the truth is lots of people do, and its addictive. The way I look at it is I mentally put myself in the ‘kitchen’ of that drive through, I take a look around at what’s being stuffed into the paper bag I’m handed through that window- and poof- appetite is gone. Michael Pollan is right. It’s not food. And if its not food…why are we eating it?

There are many more insightful rules in this book and I highly suggest picking it up for a quick read.


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