Food Rules: An Eater's Manual Info

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An enhanced edition of Food Rules—beautifully
illustrated and packed with additional food wisdom

Michael
Pollan’s Food Rules prompted a national discussion helping
to change the way Americans approach eating. This new edition
illustrated by celebrated artist Maira Kalman—and expanded with a
new introduction and nineteen additional food rules—marks an
advance in the national dialogue that Food Rules inspired. Many
of the new rules, suggested by readers, underscore the central teachings
of the original Food Rules, which are that eating doesn’t
have to be so complicated and that food is as much about pleasure and
community as it is about nutrition and health. A beautiful book to
cherish and share, Food Rules guides us with humor, joy, and
common sense toward a happier, healthier relationship to food.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Food Rules: An Eater's Manual:

4

Mar 01, 2010

A tiny book—I read it in the span of the bus ride downtown to my mother’s house. I wouldn’t pay the $11.00 price for this book, but it was fun to get from the library and read.

Some of my favorite rules:
Avoid foods you see advertised on television
Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans
It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
It’s not food if it’s called the same thing in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles.)
Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
The A tiny book—I read it in the span of the bus ride downtown to my mother’s house. I wouldn’t pay the $11.00 price for this book, but it was fun to get from the library and read.

Some of my favorite rules:
Avoid foods you see advertised on television
Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans
It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
It’s not food if it’s called the same thing in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles.)
Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
The whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead.
Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
Be the kind of person who takes supplements—then skip the supplements.
Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism.
Have a glass of wine with dinner
Pay more, eat less.
…Eat less
Stop eating before you are full.
Eat when you are hungry, not when you are board.
If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, you are not hungry.
Eat slowly
Drink your food and chew your drink.
Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.
Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds.
Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper
After lunch, sleep awhile, after dinner, walk a mile.
Eat meals
Limit your snacks to unprocessed snack food.
Do all your eating at a table.
Try not to eat alone
Treat treats as treats.
No snacks, no seconds, no sweets, except on days that begin with S.
Leave something on your plate
Cook. ...more
5

Feb 22, 2017

More an article than a review, but thanks for reading it.

APERITIF to the book

Did you know about the neurons in your stomach? Have you gotten over your incommoded phobia with death: defying, defeating and fighting it, then get back to learning and observe the reason why your brain is actually in your stomach.

Get reacquainted with oxidation in the greater scheme of things. What is born must die. So determine the rules of creation. Constant renewal to sustain balance in nature, cannot be More an article than a review, but thanks for reading it.

APERITIF to the book

Did you know about the neurons in your stomach? Have you gotten over your incommoded phobia with death: defying, defeating and fighting it, then get back to learning and observe the reason why your brain is actually in your stomach.

Get reacquainted with oxidation in the greater scheme of things. What is born must die. So determine the rules of creation. Constant renewal to sustain balance in nature, cannot be sidestepped by man in his infinite self-absorbed thanatophobia, but by golly, do we TRY!

So yes, diet and nutrition fascinate us. Our lives centers around the theory and practice of culinary mastery.

In our quest for eternal life and happiness, we made food a science, and we introduced concepts such as antioxidants, saturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, polyphenols, folic acid, gluten, probiotics. (Don't you just love Mark Twain's expression: "Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education." )

Long gone are the days when chicken sparerib, applebutter, clam chowder, bacon or salt pork and the gazillion of international culinary delights, either fried, fresh or frozen, could, innocently, light up a family dinner table. Remember those days when the margarine advocates swore death and damnation on butter and the world went ballistic, only to discover that it was a marketing strategy by the margarine camp and all food connoisseurs were caught red-faced and red-handed with the cookie jar stripped of all decency.

Nowadays, in our pre-apocalyptic world, there's still hope that the warmth and love of traditional foods might survive the onslaught, depending on the dedicated gatekeepers of family bonding to keep away from the food-laden festivities the neurotic scientists, pseudo-scientists, wannabe- and almost-scientists, with their magnifying glasses and microscopes.

Was it really necessary to know that love, fired up by chocolates, was actually the dopamine(feel-good) and serotonin (happy hormone) contained in chocolate itself that do the trick.

Well, you haven't met my uncle Walter on mother's side. Thick-lensed, nerdy and way too intelligent for his own good, a well-respected professor in his own little laboratory, solemnly explained it more accurate: "Well actually, the neurotransmitter serotonin in chocolate also contains small amounts of a compound called phenylethylamine, which acts like an amphetamine, stimulating your brain cells to release dopamine." And we would happily smile with a mouthful of grandma's creamy chocolate pudding as the happy ending to a culinary sermon in honor of the gods of good living. He also once remarked that grass and weeds contained so many sugars and nutrition that it made animals fat. For humans to think that it won't have an impact on their own diet was almost hilarious. He also believed that you should not eat food cooked that you cannot eat raw. And that the biggest addiction in the world, including all street and prescription drugs, is to salt.

Uncle Walter passed away at the age of 102, with one of his Gurkha Black Dragon cigars lying in the ashtray on his bedside table. His wife, dear aunt Wilhelmina, on her 100th birthday, happily blew out the candles on her birthday cake, with a Perilly's Super Length of London clutched between her fingers.

In the pre-death-defying hysteria humans have relied heavily on instinct. Just ask pregnant women!

My humble contribution to this particular tragicomedy was carrots. Cross-legged with my feet in the nearby stream, during bright moonlit nights, I was munching away in the nocturnal hours on the carrots which I pulled from the earth and washed in the stream. Happily feeding my instinct to eat as much carrots as I could possibly find. Those cravings raged through my entire pregnancy with oldest son. I suspect his height of six feet seven today, were borne from genes and perhaps copious amounts of beta-carotene! But in our postmodern society that might be highly debatable ...

Nowadays though, we're so scared of our instincts that we rather ravage books and the ideas of dietary gurus. Well, we basically need someone or something to blame for our choices. Some of us do. You can simplify it. Make Dr. Freud happy and blame your mother.

Nutrition is a young science in which most of the knowledge, still delivered as hypotheses, the maybes, perhapses, likelies, we-think-it can-be kind of rhetoric, still abound. Yet there might be truth in the power of purslane, if you bear in mind that excessive amounts can cause kidney stones, says the nay-sayers.

MAIN COURSE: THE BOOK REVIEW

Only 112 pages of wisdom.

BOOK BLURB:(or is it burp? :-))

A DEFINITIVE COMPENDIUM OF FOOD WISDOM

Eating doesn't have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with the clarity, concision and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan's trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation. It's an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, "What should I eat?"

You can either trust your instinct and eat what your body demands, or read a book like this and enjoy the thoughts on nutrition, as expressed by the author. Eating in our time has gotten complicated—needlessly so, in my opinion. I will get to the “needlessly” part in a moment, but consider first the complexity that now attends this most basic of creaturely activities. Most of us have come to rely on experts of one kind or another to tell us how to eat—doctors and diet books, media accounts of the latest findings in nutritional science, government advisories and food pyramids, the proliferating health claims on food packages. We may not always heed these experts’ advice, but their voices are in our heads every time we order from a menu or wheel down the aisle in the supermarket. Also in our heads today resides an astonishing amount of biochemistry. MICHAEL POLLAN is the author of five previous books, including In Defense of Food, a number one New York Times bestseller, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. Both books won the James Beard Award. A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

In this book, a wealth of information about food is shared. "Food Rules" distills this body of wisdom into sixty-four simple rules for eating healthily and happily. The rules are framed in terms of culture rather than science, though in many cases science has confirmed what culture has long known; not surprisingly, these two different vocabularies, or ways of knowing, often come to the same conclusion The book is not only informative, but also can provide conversation pointers at dinner tables. As a coffee table book, it can keep many people happy reading while our stomachs are doing the thinking for us! Of course it can also help in choosing between the the Neanderthal diet (yes, there is such a notion) or the vegan alternatives. The in-betweeners can understand why we are like we are, and enjoy life as it comes.

Charles Darwin might have insisted that it was all evolution, according to his now famous theory, or you can follow your instinct and believe it was the road via your stomach which made the difference. Mmm ... does the expression "the road to a man's heart goes through his stomach?" still stands? Well yes, we would know after this book that we really think with our stomachs, right? :-))

A SIDE DISH
You can also indulge in the theories of Dr. Wallach - I personally find his ideas fascinating!
"Dr Joel Wallach, who emphasizes the scientifically accepted view that the genetic potential for longevity in humans suggests we should live to around 120 to 140 years old.

Dr Wallach lists a few more cases to further support this, including Russian Georgians who commonly live to 120 and the Armenians and Ebkanians, where living to 140 is not uncommon.

He cites one Armenian who, from his military records, is thought to have lived to 167 years old, and the Titicaca Indians of south-east Peru who lived to between 120-140 years old. There’s also the case of the Niger chief who died at 126 with all his teeth, and a Syrian in the Guinness Book of Records who fathered 9 children after 80 and went on to live to 133.
(What this article failed to mention, is that these fortunate people smoke cigars as thick as tree stumps, made from their own tobacco, and drink coffee as thick as oil)

Put into context, the average age for Americans was 75.5 years old in 1994. For doctors it was 58. Dr Wallach suggest that these figures suggest that there is great value in treating yourself (through nutritional and lifestyle changes), rather than putting your health in the hands of doctors." Source: http://www.eco-friendly-africa-travel...

(I strongly encourage you to read this above-mentioned article if you're interested in the theories along longevity. Fascinating! You can also find all the scientists mentioned in it on Youtube.)

Now bear in mind that it is the doctors who we so desperately want to believe, who have the most comfortable lifestyles, and the broadest choices of food and medicines, who don't make it to 60 - average!

GRAND FINALE: DESSERT
After reading Food Rules: An Eater's Manual you can dream of going back to your roots, or get on with modern living and change your image.

Between THEN and NOW, humans have become taller, live longer and become more attractive. Basically, the western diet was accused of foul play in the process, but the holistic results may prove the antioxidant-warriors wrong.

Bear in mind though, that diabetes have now become either the no. 1 or no. 2 killer in the world and people changing their diets, were also cured of all the diseases such as cancer, colon cancer, and coronary heart diseases. Mark Pollan:This book is not antiscience. To the contrary, in researching it and vetting these rules I have made good use of science and scientists. But I am skeptical of a lot of what passes for nutritional science, and I believe that there are other sources of wisdom in the world and other vocabularies in which to talk intelligently about food. Human beings ate well and kept themselves healthy for millennia before nutritional science came along to tell us how to do it; it is entirely possible to eat healthily without knowing what an antioxidant is. Uh oh.... we still have to stop oxidation, but by golly, let's keep on trying. Well yes, there will one day be the perfect antidote for that, just ask the scientists :-))
(Whatever you do, DON'T ask doctors, you've been warned! )

Whatever can be taken from the book is the reader's choice. Mark Pollan: Most of these rules I wrote, but many of them have no single author. They are pieces of food culture, sometimes ancient, that deserve our attention, because they can help us. I’ve collected these adages about eating from a wide variety of sources. (The older sayings appear in quotes.) I consulted folklorists and anthropologists, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and dietitians, as well as a large number of mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. There are really some helpful tips for everyone.

Here's a few:
Never eat alone - eating at a table, with good conversations, is not only healthier (eat less, and slower) but also happier.;

people who cook are more likely to eat a more healthful diet;

Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. Food is a costly antidepressant;

The water in which vegetables are cooked is rich in vitamins and other healthful plant chemicals. Save it for soup or add it to sauces;

"Eat food. These days this is easier said than done, especially when seventeen thousand new products show up in the supermarket each year, all vying for your food dollar. But most of these items don’t deserve to be called food—I call them edible foodlike substances."

Old adages: “Leave something for Mr. Manners,” some children once were told, or, “Better to go to waste than to waist.” ( I don't agree with this one. Rather eat smaller portions, than waste food - my opinion).

“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.”

Follow the S-policy: “no snacks, no seconds, no sweets—except on days that begin with the letter S.” (Saturdays and Sundays)

Don't eat something that your grandmother won't regard as food.

If processed food contain unpronounceable ingredients, don't eat it.

It's an easy, and enjoyable read, packed with inspiration and a lots of information. Remember, confusion is always good for business. Fortunately you can still rely on the neurons in your stomach and common sense to save the meal. Bear in mind that the difference between natural food and processed food, is life.

Happily proceed with life! Bon appetite! ...more
1

November 2, 2011

Good Book, but ...
I'm a big Michael Pollan fan.

However, this new version of Food Rules is almost identical to his first Food Rules book. Of course, this version has very pretty pictures from a talented artist. So, if you have not bought the first Food Rules book and also want pretty pictures, get it. Otherwise, save your money so you can consume Real Food.
2

Jan 23, 2012

Watch out, folks, this is a variation on the drunken book review called the "my doctor prescribed me syzzurp" review. The M.D.P.M.S. review. An appropriate acronym on so many levels!

So, I have been sick for a month. No exaggeration; a month. I thought I could tough it out like a champ and avoid the combined cost of a doctor's visit, medication, and missing work. That is, until I woke up at 8 this morning with...okay, do you remember that scene in Freddy's Dead: The (totally not final) Final Watch out, folks, this is a variation on the drunken book review called the "my doctor prescribed me syzzurp" review. The M.D.P.M.S. review. An appropriate acronym on so many levels!

So, I have been sick for a month. No exaggeration; a month. I thought I could tough it out like a champ and avoid the combined cost of a doctor's visit, medication, and missing work. That is, until I woke up at 8 this morning with...okay, do you remember that scene in Freddy's Dead: The (totally not final) Final Nightmare where the deaf kid named Carlos gets a q-tip shoved through one ear all the way out the other, i.e. straight trew da head? And then his hearing-aid turns into this creepy, arachnid-y, Alien type of shit that sucks his brainblood every time there is the slightest sound, causing excruciating pain to bang, bang, bang until his head explodes all over the place?* Yeah, that was how my ear felt this morning, so I finally caved. The nice doctor lady, after much "oh my god-ing" at the state of my health, informed me that I have sinusitis, bronchitis, and an ear infection so bad that I almost permanently damaged my hearing by letting it go for so long. She gave me a shot in the ass/hip, scolded me for working in a smoky bar and smoking in it and playing darts in that smoky bar on my day off while smoking rather than going to the doctor even when all the blood in my head felt like it had turned into phlegm and evilness forever and ever. Then she loaded me up with more drugs and sent me on my way. I am off work tonight! I can get better at long last! As a little bonus, I finally got to enjoy a nice, quiet evening of having food guru Michael Pollan lecture me about my wicked ways. Perfect timing. Fortunately, this book let me know that I am really not all that bad.

I'm not sure how to tackle this since it's so short, and kinda silly in that it only told me a couple of things that I didn't already know in a "duh" sort of way, and have for ages. The simple fact that most of the information here needs to be told to anyone at this point kinda makes me real, real sad inside. For example, are people really still surprised to hear that the modern American diet is worse for you than that of most South American, tribal, Eastern Asian, French, Greek, and Italian diets, for example? You know, the diverse ones with smaller or no two and four-legged meat portions and lots of fish oil, grains, and fruits/vegetables, those diets that have kept their societies alive and well for generations and generations? People are actually unaware that Westerners on the average Ammmurican diet of Fast Junk tend to have markedly shorter life expectancies than, say, that of the residents of many other also Industrialized, heavily populated, highly advanced places such as, say, Tokyo, where modern folk still actually tend to follow historically effective methods of planning, preparing, and experiencing meals made of ingredients that come from the actual ground? Well, believe it. Oh, and here's another interesting item that's just in: you would be a terrible Jeopardy! contestant. Also a fact! Point being, anyone who actually needs to hear such seemingly obvious statements as "Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does" will probably never actually read (let alone follow) that thought anywhere. Let's get real, they are probably much too busy at "Loves" getting deep-fried livers and gizzards to read this book.

There were a couple of revealing parts where I was like "billions of stomach neurons--in the stomach--that make you (me!) sick, whawhaaaaat?" or the very sad for me opinion of Pollan's that people should just blanket NOT eat fake meat products. Mostly, it just bums me out because of fond memories of un-consented-to experiments conducted on avidly carnivorous house-guests in high school which taught me that you could totally trick a Texas rodeo cowboy with some of the fake meat products on the market today...and tricking stubborn people out of things they are obnoxiously stubborn about is always fun. Alas, Pollan says it's a "no-no."

Aaaaand the adorably bad puns, oh my! "The healthiest food in the supermarket doesn't boast about its healthfulness...don't take the silence of the yams as a sign they have nothing valuable to say about your health." How cute is that shit? I love this man so hard! And speaking of hard, who here thought about the tucking scene and/or Tom Petty's "American Girl" when they read that sentence about eating right? Plenty of you, I betcha.

I have also always really liked this simple bit of dietary advice which Pollan restates, that you should always remember to "Eat Your Colors." This rule-of-thumb always brings to mind Sophie Calle's "Chromatic Diet" experiment, where she restricted herself to monochromatic meals which changed with the day of the week. I suppose that is technically mildly unhealthy if we are following Pollan's guidance, but the whole process of spending so much time and effort preparing food and generally pondering the ritual of consumption can't be anything but a "fruitful" exercise. (Get outta muh brain, Pollan!) Sure, the point of Calle's project was to embrace the identity of Paul Auster's novelized version of her rather than focus on her health, but still. Also, the borderline-obsessively-composed photographs she took of the spreads before eating each meal are just so purrrdy.









Back on topic, this little book of obvious-isms is okay, but I kind of wish I had just taken the time to read The Omnivore's Dilemma or In Defense of Food instead so I would've learned more factual-fact type of stuff. However, if you want to be a really good person, give a copy to your obese, truck-driving Uncle Al and--assuming he reads it--blow his freakin' mind SLASH maaaaaybe change his life a bit for the better.

*Every time I hear the Krueger line "Nice 'hearing' from ya, CARLOS!" I giggle probably way too much. I'm a real classy broad like that. ...more
1

November 8, 2011

More Brochure Than Book
Although Food Rules contains some good information, the notion of calling it a "book" is rather disingenuous. It is basically 64 bullet points, each with a follow-up explanation paragraph. The content might be better suited for a slide show presentation than a book-like medium. I paid $9.99 for the Kindle edition, but feel like the content was really worth maybe $1.49...maybe. I like Michael Pollan's work as a whole, but I feel taken advantage of by Food Rules. I find myself asking, "I wonder if there is a way to get a refund?"
4

Feb 22, 2010

I read this super short book at lunch, upon the recommendation of a gorgeous 72 year old woman who claimed to be married to "the hottest 80 year old you've ever seen." Granted, I read it while eating ramen, but I <3 Michael Pollan and the IDEA of eating well.
4

Jul 05, 2013

I have had “The Protein Power Lifeplan” on one of my kitchen shelves for over ten years now and I read it regularly as it gives sound advice on how to eat healthily.

However, when I saw “Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual” and read the review, I knew that I had to have this and purchased it on a whim yesterday. I then decided to briefly look at it on my Kindle with a view to reading it at a future date. Did that happen? No, of course it didn’t. The fates had something else in store for me. I started I have had “The Protein Power Lifeplan” on one of my kitchen shelves for over ten years now and I read it regularly as it gives sound advice on how to eat healthily.

However, when I saw “Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual” and read the review, I knew that I had to have this and purchased it on a whim yesterday. I then decided to briefly look at it on my Kindle with a view to reading it at a future date. Did that happen? No, of course it didn’t. The fates had something else in store for me. I started the book, stopped somewhat briefly for dinner, and carried on reading until 2 am this morning.

I hate to use the word “gem” for a book as it’s a word that’s used so often nowadays but it’s definitely the case here. I’ve always tried to be careful in my eating habits but regrettably I have a great love for chocolate, amongst other things, (there is a wonderful Lindt chocolate factory nearby with its own shop, and bargains too) but I very rarely make any purchases as I have no control whatsoever.

It was the first paragraph of this book, however, that immediately caught my attention and made me continue reading:

“How odd is it that everybody now has at least a passing acquaintance with words like ‘antioxidant’, ‘saturated fat’, omega-3 fatty acids’, ‘carbohydrates’, polyphenols’, ‘folic acid’, ‘gluten’ and ‘probiotics’? It’s gotten to the point where we don’t see ‘foods’ but instead look right through them to the nutrients (good and bad) they contain, and of course to the calories – all these invisible qualities in our food that, properly understood, supposedly hold the secret to eating well.”

So well put.

I soon learned too that the author’s golden rule consisted of seven words:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”.

Well yes, I go along with that but it’s all a question of control. I have never liked chips, cakes and other such foods that are fattening and supposedly unhealthy, so why did I need to read this book? Pure curiosity I believe.

There are sixty-four rules given in this book (divided into three sections) and with advice given in the main heading for each:

Some are sensible but others require willpower:

“Leave something on your plate”

Yes, in principle, but what if it’s really, really good I ask myself! Why deprive my body?

But my favourite rules are:

“Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food”;
“Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry”;
“Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce”; and the intriguing one:

“Eat only foods that will eventually rot”.

But no. 64 gives you an “out” from time to time:

“Break the rules once in a while”.

Yes I agree with that; indulge yourself with your favourite food, but always remember to do things in moderation. We get back to willpower here.

This is an excellent book!

...more
1

June 21, 2012

Disappointed
Simplicity made the first edition of Food Rules a gem in the nutrition library. We ordered 'several' of them for friends. This latest edition adds a lot of fluff that clutters the simple 'user friendly' chapters, and needlessly increases the cost. If the publishers felt that the original cost was too little, they should have simply raised the price. . . What a disappointment.
4

Jan 13, 2016

So I get the feeling everyone in the world that still reads newspapers in some form knows Michael Pollan's work in some form. He's a journalist who started to make food his thing, wrote the heady Omnivore's Dilemma (that I got for last birthday but since I had not read it and the wife had, she gave it to the used book store and that was okay then, but now I wish I had it to begin reading) and plenty of articles and versions of this book, the first of which came out in maybe 2009?

Anyway, I was So I get the feeling everyone in the world that still reads newspapers in some form knows Michael Pollan's work in some form. He's a journalist who started to make food his thing, wrote the heady Omnivore's Dilemma (that I got for last birthday but since I had not read it and the wife had, she gave it to the used book store and that was okay then, but now I wish I had it to begin reading) and plenty of articles and versions of this book, the first of which came out in maybe 2009?

Anyway, I was at the library picking up some holds there and saw this on some table and I took it home, because this version is illustrated by Maira Kalman, whose work I love. Very inviting illustrations, that make a topic no one really wants to face directly really fun and lively.

Pollan is good in that he tries different registers for talking to mainly U.S. Americans that eat so infamously--processed food, meat, soda, fast food--and are now infamously the most obese country in history. I was a vegetarian for twenty years (and a vegan for about a year or so) and still eat pretty well so literally none of this book was news to me, but it and really all of his research can be summarized into these pithy Golden Rules:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”.

That's it! But almost no one in this country seems to do it, amazingly, except. . . people like me who read books by Michael Pollan, I suspect! Though maybe Maira Kalman will draw a few people in, who knows. She got me to pick it up, anyway. And even though I knew most of it, I decided to review it just to join him as an annoying food/health activist. :)

Some of my favorite rules:
Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
Avoid foods you see advertised on television.
Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.
It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.
It’s not food if it’s called the same thing in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles.)
Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
The whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead.
Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
Have a glass of wine with dinner.
If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, you are not hungry.
Drink your food and chew your drink.
Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.
Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.
Cook.

But the best thing about this edition is that it is illustrated by the wonderful Maira Kalman. Who says her family tradition is Cheetos, so deal with it. :) It's worth checking out of the old lib just for the art, and then, well, there's that advice. . . Shut up, Dave, and bring me another beer from the fridge! And that bag of chips with the dip! ...more
2

November 8, 2011

Disappointing
This was disappointing. I'd read several other books by Pollan with pleasure. When I saw this one, I downloaded a sample on my Kindle, liked the sample and bought the book. This book is VERY short. The content is fairly superficial. There was little information that I didn't already know. It isn't worth the purchase price.
5

December 26, 2011

Entertaining, Informative Compendium
I'd like to add my 5-star rating to the many others here. And to newcomers scanning these reviews, I'd add the to caveats voiced by the few one-star raters. This is a book made up of rules--83 easily digestible (ha! easily digestible!) rules--not a treatise. If you want a full-on book, get Pollan's earlier book, In Defense of Food; or get both--read Defense for it's more detailed content, read this for its mostly pithy words-to-the-wise. However if you already have the earlier addition of Rules, be advised that the major difference between that and this edition lie in the charming illustrations by Maria Kalman that accompany Pollan's text. The illustrations enhance the book, but probably do not of themselves command the need to purchase a second copy of mostly the same text.

To those few reviewers that point out with some disdain that Pollan is a journalist not a nutritionist, that's true but not really very relevant. He is an eater as we all are and he's devoted quite a bit more time and research to what we humans eat than most. His ruminations on the subject are, at the very worst, enlightening food for thought (ha! food for thought!)

If you know someone who is always trying a new diet, or you are someone who is always trying a new diet, here is an easy to read common sense approach to eating that is at once more sensible than the typical diet and more likely to take weight off weight permanently and healthfully than the typical diet.
4

Apr 14, 2010

My rating is based on a combination of a)the book's content; and b)the book's usefulness to me. The usefulness is what brings it to a higher rating.

I've been studying health and nutrition on my own for many years now, so the content was not new to me. I bought the book to have on hand for motivation and reminders of what I already know. The way the information and "rules" are presented makes it perfect for keeping me on the healthy path. I read the entire book in a little over an hour and My rating is based on a combination of a)the book's content; and b)the book's usefulness to me. The usefulness is what brings it to a higher rating.

I've been studying health and nutrition on my own for many years now, so the content was not new to me. I bought the book to have on hand for motivation and reminders of what I already know. The way the information and "rules" are presented makes it perfect for keeping me on the healthy path. I read the entire book in a little over an hour and marked the pages that have the best reminders for me. The simplicity of presentation will make it really easy for me to keep pounding this stuff into my head when I'm tempted to eat licorice for dinner. Yes, hanging my head in shame, I admit to having eaten licorice as a meal.:(

I really like the rule about "you can eat as much junk food as you want, as long as you prepare it yourself." He points out that you wouldn't eat french fries very often if you had to scrub, peel, slice, and fry the potatoes yourself, and then clean up the mess. Something we don't think about when we buy *crap* at the grocery store. Would I prepare this myself? ...more
4

Mar 20, 2017

What a delightful read! The art was absolutely charming and was completely in keeping with the light, upbeat, positive approach that the author followed. Some of the rules were fairly obvious, but who doesn't need a little reminder now and then! Other rules were more introspective such as #65 Give Some Thought to Where Your Food Comes From. The corollary of this notion is to be grateful for your food. The author notes a Zen blessing: "This meal is the labor of countless beings. Let us remember What a delightful read! The art was absolutely charming and was completely in keeping with the light, upbeat, positive approach that the author followed. Some of the rules were fairly obvious, but who doesn't need a little reminder now and then! Other rules were more introspective such as #65 Give Some Thought to Where Your Food Comes From. The corollary of this notion is to be grateful for your food. The author notes a Zen blessing: "This meal is the labor of countless beings. Let us remember their toil." Wise words to live by. This was a highly enjoyable read and one that I'll return to again and again. ...more
5

Mar 08, 2012

This book was a super quick read with 64 "food rules" which each had a paragraph or two explaining them in more detail. It has some great reminders and a few new ideas. Some of my favorites are:

Avoid food products that make health claims (you shouldn't have to advertise how healthly something is), Eat only food that will eventually rot, Treat meat as a flavoring, Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself (fries, ice cream, pies are all harder to make and highly processed, This book was a super quick read with 64 "food rules" which each had a paragraph or two explaining them in more detail. It has some great reminders and a few new ideas. Some of my favorites are:

Avoid food products that make health claims (you shouldn't have to advertise how healthly something is), Eat only food that will eventually rot, Treat meat as a flavoring, Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself (fries, ice cream, pies are all harder to make and highly processed, you will eat less and it will be more healthful if you make it), Pay more, eat less (trade quantity for quality, The banquet is in the first bite (the first bite is always the best, the more you eat doesn't add to your pleasure, it just adds calories), spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it, treat treats as treats (S policy: no snacks, no seconds, no sweets-except on days that begin with the letter S.)

Some things I need to remember: Avoid highly processed foods, anything that has sugar as a top 3 ingredient, eat animals that have themselves eaten well, eat less, stop eating before you are full, eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored, eat slowly (put down fork in between bites), buy smaller plates and glasses, serve a proper portion and don't go back for seconds, ...more
2

November 8, 2011

Helpful, but not THAT helpful
I got the Kindle version of this book. It took me an hour to read it. I feel like I could have bought a Woman's Health (or to that affect) magazine and got the same information. Some good information; i.e. Why processed foods are less nutritional. Other than that I wish I would have not spent $9.99 for this book.
5

Oct 20, 2019

A really quick reread... certainly I need to be reminded of the rules in part 3 because I think the hardest thing is moderation when it comes to food!
3

Jun 02, 2010

This book is an "abridged" version of Pollan's book "In Defense of Food" and gives excellent advice about what to eat and not to eat as far as being natural and healthy. He's not an extremist; but, what he says makes good sense. He advises that if it comes through a car window, it's not food. If your food is made in a plant rather than coming from a plant, you shouldn't eat it. He mentions "edible food-like substances" which is very reminisent of another book I've read in the last couple of This book is an "abridged" version of Pollan's book "In Defense of Food" and gives excellent advice about what to eat and not to eat as far as being natural and healthy. He's not an extremist; but, what he says makes good sense. He advises that if it comes through a car window, it's not food. If your food is made in a plant rather than coming from a plant, you shouldn't eat it. He mentions "edible food-like substances" which is very reminisent of another book I've read in the last couple of years called "The Twinkie Deconstructed." Most of the book is common sense but we could certainly use the reminders. It's cover price is a bit steep for it's size and content so if you want to read it, borrow it from the library or get a used copy... or read "In Defense of Food." ...more
1

Apr 29, 2011

I read this (before reading all the reviews here which outlined how short it is, how recycled the material was, &c &c) and was so dissatisfied I returned the Kindle book to Amazon for a refund. Shame on you, Pollan. Shame on you, publishing industry for publishing such a tiny (and expensive) "book." It was like a cross between calendar notes and a blog post. Recommended to no one.
5

September 6, 2016

Best Nutrition Book Ever
This book changed my life! Three rules for healthy eating: 1. Eat food 2. Not too much 3. Mostly plants. I can remember those! Of course, the book delves more deeply into each of those three simple rules. Eating food--what is food and what is chemical--it talks about whole food and nutrients and what is important to remembering about eating what kinds of food. AND what eating things that aren't real, whole food can do to us. Not too much--delves into portion sizes and how much of different foods that you need and how we get so out of control with our portions. Mostly plants--talks again about other ways to get protein and keeping our intake of meat in perspective. The premise of the book is that there is SO much information out there about nutrition science with a lot of conflicting ideas about what is good for you that we really need to boil it down to what we do know and quit making things so complicated for ourselves. We do that by following three simple rules and not getting too hung up on the minute details and worrying about doing "one wrong thing." I've been working on cleaning up my eating for a few years now. I try to avoid processed food, watch my portions, and stick with as many fruits and vegetables as I can. I can do that. Most of the time. If you are confused by all the talk about what to eat and what not to eat, think about these three rules--and while you are thinking, read this book. It will put your mind at ease and help you find some healthy habits in the process.
1

November 22, 2011

Ripoff
I bought this book sight unseen, after seeing it praised in a newspaper article. I should have flipped through it first. There is very little content. One can read the entire book in five minutes. Worth about two dollars,
2

November 4, 2011

I'm stuffed!
Stuffed with Pollan's preaching, that is. He made his point long ago with The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food; Food Rules is an all too obvious money making venture. Even the title smacks of the paternalist pedant.
4

Mar 03, 2017

A deceptively simple book of "food rules" which are both thought provoking and amusing-don't eat food y our grandmother wouldn't recognize, don't buy food advertised on TV, don't buy food that has to advertise that it's healthy. Not militant, the suggestion is to try making changes in each section. The illustrations by Maira Kalman surely enhance the book. Delightful
2

May 04, 2010

This morning, instead of chowing down on a big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Frosted Flakes like I normally do, I reached into the way back of my refrigerator and found a container of greek yogurt. I chased it down with a banana and felt very virtuous. This morning, before hauling myself out of bed, I read Michael Pollan's short, sweet Food Rules, which is basically a distillation of his two other food-related books, The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food (in fact, I think pretty much This morning, instead of chowing down on a big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Frosted Flakes like I normally do, I reached into the way back of my refrigerator and found a container of greek yogurt. I chased it down with a banana and felt very virtuous. This morning, before hauling myself out of bed, I read Michael Pollan's short, sweet Food Rules, which is basically a distillation of his two other food-related books, The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food (in fact, I think pretty much everything in Food Rules can also be found in In Defense of Food, although in a less compact format). For $11, it would have been nice to have more new info in the book (I read it in about 30 minutes), but I also think it's a helpful reference for people who want to eat better but either don't know how or lack willpower.

I'm one of the ones who lacks willpower. Pollan's main thesis is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." And I'm not good at any of those three things. I'd rather eat sugary cereal (not "food" in Pollan's book, but rather a "foodlike substance") than eat yogurt. I work out a lot precisely so I can eat a lot. And plants just don't do it for me the way a hot fudge sundae or a dozen oreos does. Then I read a book by Pollan or watch Food, Inc and I feel all virtuous and try to eat well, and it lasts a few days, and then I'm back to shopping in the middle of the grocery store, filling up my cart with fruit roll ups and corn dogs. So this morning, I ate yogurt. For lunch, I already have whole grain pasta and asparagus on the brain. Maybe the compactness of this little book will help me permanently change my eating habits. I'd like to think it will, but it probably won't. ...more
3

Feb 04, 2019

Don't buy this book at full price for yourself.

Do borrow it from the library (as I did), pick it up at a used book store or giveaway, buy it as a gift for a friend who doesn't read much (alas, we all know such people), or even sit in the library or stand in the aisle of a bookstore and read this book in its entirety. It took me two sittings to finish this book, but it is easily finished in one sitting. It's a fluffy book of Michael Pollan lite, a bunch of short, bite-sized chunks, lots of white Don't buy this book at full price for yourself.

Do borrow it from the library (as I did), pick it up at a used book store or giveaway, buy it as a gift for a friend who doesn't read much (alas, we all know such people), or even sit in the library or stand in the aisle of a bookstore and read this book in its entirety. It took me two sittings to finish this book, but it is easily finished in one sitting. It's a fluffy book of Michael Pollan lite, a bunch of short, bite-sized chunks, lots of white space, sometimes (seriously) an entire chapter will consist of the title only.

Still, Pollan's rules of good eating are sensible and should be taken to heart. If this is a way to get the message out to the demographic that don't read super-serious 400-page polemics, well, I understand why they published it, even if I think it's poor value for money. ...more
5

Apr 02, 2019

Loved these sticky tips that are now floating around in my mind! Definitely recommend this quick read to anyone who needs a reality check on the foods we are putting in our body. This has been the easiest no-nonsense approach to understanding nutrition I’ve experienced yet.

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