In Defense of Food

Journalist-turned-food-expert, Michael Pollan's poignant advice on how we can remedy both our health and our food system can be summarized in three simple rules: EAT FOOD, MOSTLY PLANTS, NOT TOO MUCH. I will try to summarize his main points below using many of Pollan's own headings, but the way the author compellingly fleshes out each point should not be missed.



Escape from the western diet 

EAT FOOD: Food defined

  • Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. 
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable, c) more than five in number, or that include high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Avoid food products that make health claims.
  • Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever possible

MOSTLY PLANTS: What to eat

  • Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
  • You are what you eat eats too.
  • If you have the space, buy a freezer.
  • Eat like an omnivore.
  • Eat well grown food from healthy soils.
  • Eat wild foods when you can.
  • Be the kind of person that takes supplements.
  • Eat more like the French, or the Italians, or the Japanese, or the Indians,  or the Greeks.
  • Regard non-traditional foods with skepticism.
  • Don't look for the magic bullet in the traditional diet.
  • Have a glass of wine with dinner.

NOT TOO MUCH: How to eat

  • Pay more, eat less.
  • Eat meals.
  • Do all your eating at a table.
  • Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does.
  • Try not to eat alone.
  • Consult your gut.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Cook and, if you can, plant a garden.