Book review: Food rules: An eater’s manual.

Michael PollanFood Rules:  An Eater’s Manual (2009, Penguin Books, New York)

Michael Pollan – Food Rules:  An Eater’s Manual (2011, The Penguin Press, New York), with illustrations by Maira Kalman

Why should we read a book that contains “commandments” for eating?  I mean, after all, we sorta have to eat to survive, right?  What do we need rules for? 

Well, Michael Pollan suggests, we need to actually THINK about our food (which most of us North Americans do not).  We need to address the way we eat:  how we shop for food, how we prepare our food, how we eat our food and why.  We need to talk about reducing gluttony and becoming more healthy, we need to come up with ways to support farmers and agriculturalists, we need to embrace natural, raw, and preservative/chemical-free food (and demand that it is made available to us).  We need to address the kinds of foods we eat and how they affect us.  And we need to practice slow, mindful eating and do it with our families and friends.

This is the intent of these bite-sized volumes; the revised 2011 edition sports a few extra rules and the colourful artwork of Maira Kalman.   Food Rules is meant to be used as a personal guide/springboard to eating well and considering the source and value of our food.  The lists are well worth a gander – be sure to get the illustrated edition for the extras!

(Check out the “Related Articles” below for a fantastic stop-motion animated video based on Food Rules).


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