Friday, April 16, 2010

Food Rules Friday

Today begins a new weekly feature, "Food Rules Friday," each featuring a rule from Michael Pollan's newest book, "Food Rules - An Eater's Manual." Michael Pollan is an acclaimed author and whole food/heathy eating advocate.  He is the author of the best selling "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dillemma."

Rule #1: "Eat Food."

On first glance, one may think this is ridiculously obvious.  What else would anyone eat, but food?  But with this simple statement, Pollan introduces a basic concept contained in his books.  Much of what is eaten in the modern diet is overly-processed and factory-produced and contains an incredible array of added chemicals and unhealthy ingredients. Many ingredients are chemically altered.  Two ingredients that I avoid at all costs are hydrogenated or trans-fats, and high-fructose corn syrup.  More on these in future posts. 

We just eat too many pre-packaged "convenience foods" and "fast food," instead of preparing fresh food from fresh natural ingredients.  In addition to chemical additives, factory-produced processed foods contain added fats and sugars, and replace whole grains with refined grains. Is it a coincidence that obesity, heart disease, and diabetes have trended upward at the same time as the prolifieration of processed foods?

Pollan makes a statement that "Most of these items don't deserve to be called food-- I call them edible foodlike substances."  Hence, the Number 1 rule is simply "Eat Food!"


Anne said...

It's so true that what we think of as "food" is not soil-based and grown in factories instead of farms.

Love the new Friday feature, Vern.

Vern said...

Thanks, Anne; I'm glad you like it!

Michael Pollan's other books are so good, and we just recently picked up "Food Rules." The way the theme of each chapter is introduced by a catchy, quotable "rule," made it perfect for a feature.