Book Review - Food Rules

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book #6 - Food Rules by Michael Pollan

[image source: Goodreads]

If you haven't noticed, this is the second book I've read about food. Part of the reason has to do with the fact that I was given several books about food for my bridal shower and I am trying to read what I've already got on my book shelf before I buy or borrow others. The other part is that I am absolutely obsessed with them! Who knew that food could be so interesting? I certainly didn't.

I've been trying hard to start doing more local and organic shopping ever since I read Animal Vegetable Miracle. Mike and I weren't really raised to eat this way and it's been kind of difficult to make the transition, so books like this really help! Healthy eating is really important to me and I have been working on actually cooking at home with whole foods instead of popping something in the microwave or grabbing a quick and easy dinner out. It saves us money, it's healthier, and it forces us to actually slow down and understand what it takes to make a delicious meal. Cooking in the kitchen and sitting down at our table for a meal (not in front of the TV) has become the highlight of my day. It's also a great way for Mike and I to spend some quality time together. We have also found that we have a greater appreciation for farmers and those that care for the earth that sustains us.

If you're intrigued or interested in learning more, I highly recommend this book. It's a great place to start!

Summary (source)
Michael Pollan's definitive compendium, Food Rules, is here brought to colorful life with the addition of Maira Kalman's beloved illustrations.

This brilliant pairing is rooted in Pollan's and Kalman's shared appreciation for eating's pleasures, and their understanding that eating doesn't have to be so complicated. Written with the clarity, concision, and wit that is Michael Pollan's trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely. Kalman's paintings remind us that there is delight in learning to eat well.

It's an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, "What should I eat?"

The hardcover Pollan-Kalman collaboration will be the Food Rules edition that families will pass down for posterity, sharing lessons for eating healthfully-and joyfully-for all their lives.

My Review
What I Loved
1. It's simplicity. I like how the book is structured to make the rules easy to remember. It's not just long, drawn-out paragraphs about what's good to eat and why. Each rule is numbered and there is a short little description after each one. Easy peasy.

2. It was short. I seem to really like short books lately. Maybe it's because we've been so busy these last couple of months but I literally read this one in less than an hour.

3. The message: Processed foods are horrible for your health so instead... "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." The goal of this book is simply to teach us about what is really considered "food" and what are "edible food-like substances", what we should be eating instead of the stuff that's not really food, and then how we should be eating it. When I picked it up, I felt like I was going to be reading a book full of stuff I already knew, but I was surprised by how much I learned.

4. The illustrations were quirky, vibrant, and beautiful. It definitely added something special that the first edition lacked.

What I Didn't Love
1. It's really hard to come up with a lot of negatives about this book. Since it almost feels like a "how-to" guide, there aren't many things that can go wrong. The only thing I can really think to say is that some of the rules were repetitive. A couple of them were stated in different ways as several different rules but it wasn't really all that obvious.

4 out of 5 stars


  1. Very interesting! I'll have to pick up a copy :)