Saturday, June 9, 2012

Michael Pollan's rules

#1. Give Some Thought to Where Your Food Comes From

To take a moment before a meal to reflect on the work, and the wonder, involved in the process that brings food from the earth to your table is to eat it with both more pleasure and more consciousness. Whether you actually say grace out loud or simply reflect in silence on this everyday miracle, the practice fosters more mindful eating. And mindfulness helps us to eat more slowly and more sanely. “This meal is the labor of countless beings,” goes one Zen blessing offered before eating. “Let us remember their toil.”

#2. Place a Bouquet of Flowers on the Table and Everything Will Taste Twice as Good

#3. Order the Small

Because in this era of supersized portions, small is the new large—and is plenty. According to Lisa Young, the author of The Portion Teller Plan, when McDonald’s first opened, the soda came in one size: seven ounces. now, a “small” soda is sixteen ounces, medium is twenty-one, and large is thirty-two—a full quart of soda. At Burger King, what was a large in 1965—sixteen ounces—is now a small. Restaurant portions of food have ballooned as well: consider ordering off the children’s menu or sharing an entrée.”

#4. If You’re Not Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple, Then You’re Probably Not Hungry

This little thought experiment is a good way to assess whether your desire to eat is really based on hunger or something else. If the idea of eating an apple doesn’t appeal to you, then chances are you’re reaching for food out of habit, boredom, or sadness. The urge will pass. But if you find the idea does appeal, then go ahead: have an apple.

#5. “No Labels on the Table”

Keep logos and food packaging off the dinner table. Even if you’re having takeout, take the food out of the containers and put it on a platter or plate. You’ll eat more slowly and enjoy the food more. It’s hard to savor a leisurely meal when surrounded by commercial messages and incipient trash.

#6. Don’t Become a Short-Order Cook

When kids learn to think of the dinner table as a restaurant, they’ll eat the way most people do in restaurants: too much. For adults as well as kids, eating whatever is being served is generally a good policy, unless religion or allergy prohibits doing so. The food industry promotes hyperindividualism in eating—giving people exactly what they want exactly when they want it—because doing so helps them to sell more food. It also leads to overeating. When we eat what is served, rather than what we might order or crave, we tend to eat more moderately.

#7. Enjoy Drinks That Have Been Caffeinated by Nature, Not Food Science

Coffee and tea can make us happy, alert, and more energetic, which might help explain why scientists have worked so hard to find something wrong with them. At one time or another, these traditional caffeinated beverages have been linked to heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and bone loss, but so far coffee and tea have been exonerated on every count. And in fact the antioxidants in coffee and tea (as well as in chocolate, which also contains caffeine) may do us some good. Too much caffeine can make people jittery and anxious, however, and the jury is still out on the new generation of caffeinated energy drinks. So at least for now, you’re probably better off getting your caffeine, in moderation, from a plant rather than a factory.

I have been thinking a lot about what we eat lately and I think Michael Pollan is a bright man and very right. Hear and see more of his rules here and all about him here. It is worth visiting his site also because of the wonderful and charming illustrations of the artist Maira Kalmann.
Wishing you all a wonderful Saturday!

Emilie's daughter

PS. I am terribly sorry about the presentation of this post - google has changed it's program for the worse  and no way to solve the problem today - I guess you all know and enjoy it anyway... I could not even add my heart before and after my name...


  1. Seven years ago I stopped buying packaged food, read labels, changed my eating habits and lost 25 lbs. I became a vegetarian about 4 years ago because of the way animals are treated all for the sake of meat consumption. Michael Pollan is a smart man and has great advice. Many people in this world don't even think of where their food comes from or question how it is being processed. Obesity and disease are on the rise because of this very reason. Making meals at home means you know what is going into your food and how it is being prepared. I do as much of that as possible. In fact, I just made tomato soup and grilled cheese for my son; roasted sweet potatoes, cornbread, blackeyed peas and brown rice for lunch and dinner, and have banana coconut bread baking. Simple and delicious. Wishing you a wonderful day. Tammy

  2. I too like what Michael Pollan has to say, especially that bit about don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognise as food!

    Lovely post, thank you.

  3. Wonderful post - I'm not always follwing these rules!

    ♥ Franka

  4. These are some pretty good rules!
    I think I am already following most of them. Promise to get better on that apple case ; )

  5. I got the first version--no illustrations. I love Myra K and wish I had this version, but either way it's a terrific little book filled with easy to implement suggestions

  6. I reach for an apple! Thats my first rule. lots of water and salads.
    such great tips Christa. I love the way you have put this post about eating all together. Its so true. we have to take more care in what we choose to put in our fridge and what we eat. Healthy is the Key word.
    I love the little paintings of Myra K
    Dont do take away's so thats ok.
    great info and post Christa. Thank you
    val xxx

  7. Post molto interessante!! felice inizio settimana a te...ciao

  8. Wonderful rules! A couple I had not thought of but I will be thinking of them now. Thank you for sharing!