Michael Pollan, the bestselling author who describes himself jokingly as a "liberal foodie intellectual," published Food Rules in 2009, a handbook that offers "straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely." The one I remember best is Rule #2. "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." That's because it's likely processed and "designed to get us to buy and eat more by pushing our evolutionary buttons, our inborn preferences for sweetness and fat and salt." A few other noteworthy suggestions and assertions include:
Rule #6: "Avoid foods that contain more than five ingredients."
Rule #20: "It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car."
Rule #37: "The whiter the bread, the sooner you'll be dead."
Rule #17: "Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans."
That last rule gets taken up again in How Cooking Can Change Your Life, a short animated film just released by the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA). The audio in the clip is an outtake from a longer talk that Pollan gave at RSA in London, last May. Listen to the talk in full here. Below, we've also posted another RSA video that takes more Food Rules by Pollan and renders them in stop motion animation. This second clip first appeared on our site back in 2012. (For a more sustained intellectual experience, see our previous post: Michael Pollan Presents an Edible Education, A Free Online Course From UC Berkeley.)