Summary Michael Pollan says, "Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with the clarity, concision and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan’s trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page accompanied by a concise explanation"
About the Author Michael Pollan says, "For more than thirty years, Michael Kevin Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds. He is the author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence and five New York Times bestsellers: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013), Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001)."
Anne joined a permaculture design course at Dartington in Devon in the early 1990s and was inspired to cultivate more herbs for use in her clinical practice. She grew many herbs in the cottage garden and on the allotment. Anne and her partner wanted to grow more of their own plant supplies, and purchased Holt Wood in 2004. They have since transformed it from a redundant conifer plantation into a thriving medicinal forest garden. The Holt Wood project is based on a permaculture design and focuses on sustainable cultivation and harvest of medicinal trees and shrubs. "
Overall, I think this book does an awesome job of accomplishing its objective to present easy and simple rules for people to guide their choices about what to eat to maintain good physical and mental health. I hadn't thought much about this book when I read it last year at Wheaton Labs during multiple bathroom breaks at the Fisher Price House over the course of a few weeks. This is, indeed, a good book to read while going to bathroom. It's composed of multiple super short little 1-2 page long essays on each food rule that he has. Those food rules are then grouped into sections, which are roughly categorized as "What Should I Eat?", "What Kind of Food Should I Eat?", and "How Much Should I Eat?"
The section "What Should I Eat?" contains a set of rules which essentially helps a person to recognize what is "real food" is and how to avoid stuff that is not actually "food." "What Kind of Food Should I Eat?" describes basic rules about what foods to put on a person's and in what proportions, like how many vegetables, fruits, proteins- that kind of stuff. Lastly, "How Should I Eat?" describes the portion sizes, times of days, what settings to eat under, and other things of that matter.
I was not terribly impressed by this book when I read it, because I had already encountered similar information to this from sources, like Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, and from plenty of voices within the permaculture community and in multiple permaculture books. However, if someone is new to the permaculture community and the concept of food as medicine, then, I think it is unlikely they have heard much of this rhetoric and information.
So, I think this book makes for a great introduction to what real food is, what makes for a healthy diet, and how to eat well to promote one's health.