What are the Michael Pollan Food Rules?
Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. This is a food rule to live by according to Michael Pollan, food journalist, professor, activist and author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Other note-worthy rules among Michael Pollan’s 64 Food Rules are:
- #8 Avoid food products that make health claims
- #11 Avoid foods you see advertised on television
- #18 Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
- #22 Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
- #63 Cook
Some of these are more obvious than others.
Is cooking really considered a groundbreaking health-related, food rule? Sadly, yes. In fact, it’s more of a reminder and an important one at that…
As stated in Michael Pollan’s latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, “The amount of time spent preparing meals in American households has fallen by half since the mid-sixties, when I was watching my mom fix dinner, to a scant twenty-seven minutes a day. (Americans spend less time cooking than people in any other nation, but the general downward trend is global.)”
Michael Pollan also points out the ironic obsession with watching cooking on TV, reading about cooking and going to restaurants designed to watch live cooking, yet less people are actually cooking for themselves. Beyond that, we are living in a highly processed and ready-made, pseudo food world, completely void of essential nutrients.
But, one doesn’t have to be Julia Child to enjoy a home-cooked meal. In fact, healthy, delicious meals can be fairly simple and cooked in no time at all. For example, the following can be cooked in less than 30 minutes: steamed spinach with lemon and sautéed olive oil, tomatoes and garlic mixed with a bowl of pasta.
If you or your loved ones are challenged with grocery shopping and/or home-cooking due to a health condition, consider these healthy food delivery services. Other food services include Thrive Market, a healthy organic, non-GMO online market, and Blue Apron, a marketplace that does some of the heavy lifting for you (e.g., delivers ingredients with exact proportions for a meal).
And, if you need a little more cooking inspiration, don’t miss Michael Pollan’s new Netflix 4-part docu-series, Cooked, which “urges a return to the kitchen to reclaim our lost traditions and to forge a deeper, more meaningful connection to the ingredients and cooking techniques that we use to nourish ourselves.”
Michael Pollan eloquently shares his matter-of-fact thoughts on the food industry, and at times, they are hard to swallow. But, he continually opens our eyes (and mouths!), inspires us and reminds us to go back to the basics and never underestimate the valuable teachings from our ancestors, families and friends: grow and hunt food, appreciate and savor food, be grateful for food and simply cook “real” food.