Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

Written by: Michael Pollan

Published By: Penguin

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus

            Michael Pollan gives us an easy to understand book that is only 139 pages long and explains everything you need to do to eat well.  I know what you are thinking: I just paid $30 dollars for a book by a nutrionalist that I cannot begin to understand without being a doctor and you mean to tell me this guy can do it for under that price and without be getting a PHD to understand my menu?  Yes, Michael Pollan's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual can. 

            The book is one of the shortest reads I have ever had the pleasure to explore.  It is only 139 pages, and the word page is a stretch.  The book is actually broken into three main categories: What Should I Eat, What Kind of Food Should I Eat and How Should I Eat. 

            In the What Should I Eat section is a an explanation of what you should eat, not edible foodlike substances, which are pre-packaged foods, but foods your great-grandmother would recognize.  There are blurbs and then an explanation of each one, such as "Avoid Food Products that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry." or "Don't eat anything a third grader could not pronounce." 

            Section two is What Kind of Food Should I Eat.  Well, that is once again spelled out for you in such ways as eat animals that have been treated well themselves, such as buying organic meats.  Eat vegetables and fruits.  This is about as simple as it gets and I was skeptical from the start, but really easy language makes this fun to read and the explanations are so well written a third grader will be able to understand it. 

            The last section deals with How Should I Eat, which starts out as pay, more eat less.  It is documented that we now spend less on food than entertainment, which leads to the question of who you would rather pay, the grocer or the doctor.  The book goes on to say that you should treat meat like a side dish, eat plants but not too many and not over-indulge in any food regardless of how healthy. 

            I think Mr. Pollan hits the nail on the head in this book.  Food Rules is a plain, simple and easy to understand book about food.  Most of us have been so caught up in the world of diets that we forget to simplify. This book simplifies things for us.  Please do not miss this read, especially if you are a dieting guru like me.  I have never had eating explained to me in such easy terms before and it is a real solution to a diet ridden society.


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