Posts Tagged ‘Pollan’

Food Rules, etc

February 12, 2010 2 comments

I recently bought Michael Pollan’s Food Rules.

Several years ago he wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine about nutrition.  As he also remarked in an interview:  our knowledge of nutrition is like 17th century surgical knowledge.  He has three rules.

Eat food; mostly plants; not too much.

Food is what would have been recognized as food a hundred years ago.  That means no food that is unpronounceable, imitation foods, or foods with ingredients you wouldn’t keep in your pantry.  Or foods called the same thing in different languages.  Like Big Mac.

It is by following the first rule that I’m managing paleo.

Paleo, of course, would disagree with the second rule but agree that we should eat animals that have themselves eaten well.   He points out that mackerel, sardines, herring and anchovies are healthy, quoting the Dutch saying, “A land with lots of herring can get by with few doctors.”  Time to reconnect with my heritage, through diet.  I clearly can’t via my height.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Rule 33:  eat foods that have been digested by bacteria or fungi.  They may reduce inflammation.   This may include some yogurt, for example, and kim chi, although not together.   I’ll probably add yogurt, pasture butter, and raw cream once I’m done with the strict 30 day endurance test.

Rule 34:  sweeten and salt your food yourself.   Instead of ordering 7-up, I would use a little Rose’s lime juice and add it to seltzer.  Now its just a lime.  But this is very true:  how we sweeten and salt food is almost always less than how the food corporations sweeten and salt.

Rule 39: cook your own junk food; Make french fries and ice cream at home.  I like this rule.  Use the mandoline, a food processor – or a knife, to make pommes frites or sweet potato fries.   Use an ice cream maker for ice cream, and use healthy substitutes for sugar – like apple puree, bananas, or honey.   It’ll take more time, and will be consumed less frequently.

And rule 63:  Cook.  One enjoyable aspect of the last 30 days is that I’m cooking a lot.  I make my breakfast – and spend 20 minutes doing so.   I’m getting colors by making 2 vegetables (usually one fresh, and the other from leftovers).

It’s clearly not a strict paleo book.  However, it does offer some common sense that overlaps with the underlying philosophy.  The difference is that Paleo blames the neolithic; Pollan blames the industrial revolution.

Both, however, believe that the modern diet is killing us.

Pollan offers a slightly wider scope for eating.   He’s a little less restrictive.   I’ll probably adjust my diet a little after the thirty days, allowing for some pasture butter and yogurt on occasion.   I won’t shy away from cured bacon, even though it might have maple syrup.   I’ll taste the spaghetti sauce my brother made with the chorizo cheese sausage.

And I’ll serve it on Spaghetti.  Spaghetti squash.

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