Michael Pollan's New Book, Food Rules, Makes Eating Healthy Easy

Author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan, has a new book out. This simple manifesto, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual presents 64 quick, easy, and understandable food tips.

In his introduction, Pollan writes that nutritional science is a relatively young science, just 200 years old. As a result, there is a lot that we just don't understand about the human body, how it digests food, and how certain nutrients interact with our bodies. Nutrition, Pollan writes, is "today approximately where surgery was in the year 1650-- very promising, and very interesting to watch, but are you ready to let them operate on you?"

And so there is a turn to time honored wisdom and a sort of back to the basics theme to his book. Food rule #8, "Avoid food products that make health claims" and food rule #13, "Eat only foods that will eventually rot" honor this.

Nutrition and diet have become so complex and confusing, that Pollan's simplicity is welcoming. Somehow the diet crazes of the past couple decades have left most of us feeling lost: low fat, low carb, what should the diet be? We demonize one ingredient, then the next. All the while, we get fatter and fatter. Where did we stray?

Pollan pulls us back to common sense long forgot yet socially and scientifically grounded. Pollan's 57th rule, "Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does" causes both a chuckle and a "light bulb" moment. This obvious statement somehow seems extraordinary, indicating just how far we have strayed from a diet of whole foods that come from the earth, or at least roamed the earth (or sea), during their lifetimes.

Pollan reminds us that the Western diet, which results in more chronic disease than any other diet in the world, is sorely lacking in whole foods. His manifesto provides us with no nonsense, easy ways to rectify this problem.

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