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Eat Food, Not too Much, Mostly Plants

By Mrs. Smith | Books | June 22, 2010 |

By Mrs. Smith | Books | June 22, 2010 |

Though short, this book is full of easy-to-digest advice about what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it. As a woman with myriad food issues it’s refreshing to know it’s possible to just get down to brass tacks and pretty much have a yes or no answer for just about anything I might encounter food-wise. Diet books are written with so much in your face statistical noise to justify a premise that it’s always difficult to separate hype or junk science from truth. Food Rules is not a diet book and has no room for hype. It’s easy to read, but not necessarily easy to follow.

Yes, Pollan expects you to think about your choices and to explore and examine your food, but these days it could save, or at least extend your life considerably.

I have honestly come to believe that the U.S. population has expanded so exponentially because we don’t eat food anymore, we eat products. Real food is inherently nutritious; if you have to add vitamins and minerals in to sell it to parents, it’s not real and it’s probably not really nutritious. Can I always feed myself and my family the way I should? Not 100 percent of the time, but Food Rules does help push me in the right direction most of the time.

Common sense can go a long way toward improving our lives and these short, easy to understand rules pretty much cover The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food for those of us with short attention spans. I devoured The Omnivore’s Dilemma and all of Pollan’s New York Times Magazine articles with gusto and I think letting us see what the food industrial complex is really like is pretty scary, often gross and not surprisingly, very off-putting. There’s nothing more enlightening that reading straight, unvarnished stories of animals being fed “food” they were never intended to eat, dosed with antibiotics they wouldn’t need if they were raised in a proper environment and grown, then inhumanely slaughtered at rates that are off the charts. Makes “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” sound comically reasonable.

By applying the Food Rules, I have found one truth that all diet books claim to make possible, but can’t ever seem to back up. Never Diet Again!

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Mrs. Smith’s reviews, check out her blog.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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