Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #73: “Food Rules" by Michael Pollan

Best Nonfiction Book: Food Rules

Dear kids,

You’ve probably already noticed that these days, figuring out what to eat isn’t a simple matter. Opinions are all over the place. Unlike most diet books, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan is objective—maybe the most objective, balanced diet book out there. You’ll never sound gullible quoting from a book by Pollan.

My Summary:

Pollan is not a nutritionist, but a journalist seeking the answer to a seemingly simple question, namely: “What should I eat?” It gives sixty-four succinct food truisms, including “Eat only foods that eventually will rot” and “It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles.)”

The book’s bottom line: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Other Notable Quotes:

  • “There have been, and can be, healthy high-fat and healthy low-fat diets, but they have always been diets built around whole foods.”
  • “I learned that in fact science knows a lot less about nutrition than you would expect—that in fact nutrition science is, to put it charitably, a very young science . . . Nutrition science . . . 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? I think I’ll wait a while.”
  • A wide variety of traditional diets are healthy; the modern diet is not. “What this suggests is that there is no single ideal human diet but that the human omnivore is exquisitely adapted to a wide range of different foods and a variety of different diets.”




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