PSA: Eat Real Food

I post a lot of food information.  Nutrition and living healthy are priorities and passions for me so it makes sense that it’s going to trickle out into pretty much every medium I communicate with.

Today I was reading an interview from Slashfood with Michael Pollan about his new book Food Rules.  There was one section I just had to share:

Slashfood: I think your book is really needed, but it’s sort of sad that we need to tell people to eat more vegetables. It’s stuff we were told as kids.

MP: It is sad that we should need such common sense, but there’s a very good reason for it. Nutritional science, which is very well intentioned and has been trying to get to the bottom of what you need to eat to be healthy, has been hijacked by the food industry, which takes every new study and turns it into a clever way to sell processed food. Processed food is the most profitable food in the supermarket, and that’s where all the marketing is. So it’s not surprising that people have lost track of the idea you shouldn’t eat it. And of course it’s the food that carries the health claims. In fact, one of my rules is to not eat food that has health claims. The stuff in the produce section, which is the healthiest food of all, is utterly silent about its health benefits. I’m trying to give voice to the fruits and vegetables, so they’re not drowned out by the processed food.

Amen, Mr. Pollan!  A-FREAKING-MEN.

One rule, people.  One, simple rule to living a healthier lifestyle.  Eat real food.

Full text of the interview is here.

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8 responses to “PSA: Eat Real Food

  1. YES! I almost thought about checking this one out, but it seemed like a preaching to the choir kind of thing. Do you recommend it for someone who’s already like-minded?

  2. I would think either Food Rules or In Defense of Food. In Defense of Food goes a bit deeper into the science and marketing of processed foods and takes a deeper look at the cultural and financial underpinnings of the system, so maybe that’s the better one for the like-minded, since it’s a little more intense? But Food Rules is a great overall summary.

  3. I think Food Rules is a condensed version of In Defense of Food, which distilled the message of Omnivore’s Dilemma. So basically, if you’ve read OD you’re good to go, IMHO. I didn’t get anything new out of either of the shorter books. (Which isn’t to say they are not timely or well-written. Yes, I’m a bit of a Pollan fan-girl.) I’d like to see more about how these rules are being adopted by people who have forgotten to eat their veggies as it were. As J said, we’re the choir, and I’m assuming that all came from families that didn’t allow many processed foods into the house if any at all. So what about all the millions of families who weren’t raised with that lifestyle? Have these books made an impact on them?

  4. Ditto here. I’d like to see if any of this information is having an impact on people who most need it. I’m thinking of those who live in urban areas without access to a good food store and are operating on a really tight budget. One recent event that’s been getting more popular is farmers markets taking food stamps. However, what about those without access to the markets due to jobs or location?

    I agree with Pollan that in order to get these changes made, the system needs a radical shift. Small steps are the path to change, though. The food stamps at farmer’s markets is a step in the right direction!

    • Unfortunately, many farmers don’t want to bother with taking the market coupons. I know at the Quincy Farmers Market that Stillman’s was the only stand that accepted them (which was a boone to us). Glenn (Mr. Stillman himself) spoke about the beaurocracy (spelling?) that went into signing up as a farm to receive them and, you guessed it, it is another system in need of an overhaul. The amounts given to families (through WIC) was paultry – to the tune of $10 a season, though the coupons seniors recieved was a bit better at $30 a season. A start, but I’m not sure if it was really a great start.

      • I should ad the caveat that this frustrated everyone involved. Not just the farmers. Small steps are what starts change, you’re right, and I feel like a total Debbie Downer acting like they aren’t good steps. Yet, it’s even more frustrating to see mothers not be able to get as many veggies and fruit as they want b/c they are required to spend it on milk and cheese. blerg! I think I need a window in this office! Too much fake light makes me feel weird.

  5. … but it’s a start. Not to be too Pollyanna-ish about the situation, but we gotta start somewhere. Already the issue of good, healthy, local food reaching everyone is seeing far more light than it did even 10 years ago. There will be a lot of ugly practices and behaviors revealed along the path, but at least we’re on the path. 🙂

  6. I was very excited when I heard about this latest book of his. Not because it was new info, given that I’d read both Omnivore and Defense, but because I knew I could give it to people who WOULDN’T read those two. I’m planning to buy a stash of them for my mom & her husband, the in-laws, my brother… I know for a fact none of them will crack open the other two if I ask them, mainly because of their size and depth. Although they may miss a lot of the background information, I think this book is perfect for (hopefully) getting them started on a better path of wellness. If they are intrigued enough, I can then point them towards the predecessors, but I’ll be happy enough if they digest and adhere to this one. Fingers crossed. I ❤ Pollan.

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