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Green Books Campaign review: Food Rules

November 10, 2010

This review is part of the Green Books campaign.  Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper.  By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable.  We invite you to join the discussion on “green” books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner!  A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

In an effort to make less impact on the environment, the book I’m reviewing,  Food Rules by Michael Pollan, is printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper.

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Michael Pollan is a journalist who was confused by the mixed messages he was getting about food.  He decided to investigate and was surprised to discover that we really don’t know that much about nutrition.   He did discover two indisputable facts, though:

  1. Those who eat Western diets – processed foods with added fat and sugar and refined grains with few fruits and vegetables –  suffer from “Western diseases,” such as diabetes and cancer.
  2. People who stop eating Westerns diets see a marked improvement in their health.

Pollan came up with sixty four rules for healthy eating and he has divided them up in three sections  – What Should I Eat?, What Kind of Food Should I Eat? and How Should I Eat? in Food Rules.  He suggests that adopting just one rule from each section can make some difference in your health.  Most of the rules in this book are common sense and pretty well known, so I didn’t discover anything earth shattering.  I do think it’s important to read books like every once in a while as gentle reminders – I know most of us can use them from time to time.  A few of my favorite rules are:

  • It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.
  • Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of your milk.
  • Eat all the junk food you want as long as you prepare it yourself.

Following each rule is a paragraph or two with further explanation.  As you can see, Pollan approaches the subject matter with a touch of humor and doesn’t preach.  His writing isn’t scientific or dry, so anyone can benefit from Food Rules.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 1:04 pm

    Sounds like a good one. I just cringe b/c I know we are eating so many awful things.

  2. November 10, 2010 1:04 pm

    This seems to be the perfect book for the person who has a hard time changing his eating habits because in the end that’s what it’s all about. The fact that it’s humorous must have made it a pleasure to read.

  3. November 10, 2010 1:30 pm

    This sounds like a great read for being more aware of the foods we put into our bodies. Especially cereal since at our house it’s all about chocolate all the time.

    Great to have you on this Green Campaign 2010!

  4. November 10, 2010 1:53 pm

    I suspect his rules wouldn’t surprise me much either, but I do like his sense of humour! And as you said, this is the type of book that’s good to read as a gentle reminder. I like the third rule you mention above!

  5. November 10, 2010 2:02 pm

    Super idea for a book! I am already health conscious, but I think I would enjoy this. Thanks for a great, green review!

  6. November 10, 2010 2:18 pm

    As a vegetarian, I’ve really enjoyed Pollan’s books because I don’t think he comes across as preachy. Great review.

  7. November 10, 2010 3:14 pm

    Sounds like the kind of reminders I could use.

  8. November 10, 2010 3:42 pm

    That second rule you pointed out made me laugh. I bought some Lucky Charms recently which I haven’t eaten in years. I was surprised by the green milk when I was finished eating it. 🙂

  9. November 10, 2010 4:10 pm

    I have a hard time following that rule about not considering it food if it comes through the window of a car!

  10. November 10, 2010 4:35 pm

    I’m seeing this all over. The book sounds good. I’ve seen posts on Coffee and Chickens as well!

  11. November 10, 2010 4:44 pm

    I like the first rule – especially since my lunch today arrived through the window of my car (tacos from the healthiest fast food place in town). 🙂 So I tried to be a little healthier in my fast food choices. The older I get though, the less appealing manufactured junk food is to me. My biggest weakness is the coffee cart.

  12. November 10, 2010 5:26 pm

    sounds like a good book. I’d probably check this out on my own. Wonderful.

  13. November 10, 2010 5:26 pm

    Great campaign! I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while now. Thanks for the review!

  14. November 10, 2010 5:49 pm

    I’ve heard so many good things about this book. Fortunately, when I go to a fast food place, I almost always get out of the car and go in, so nothing arrives through my car window!

  15. November 10, 2010 5:50 pm

    One of the ones I like went something like: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. I think I’d heard it before reading Pollan’s book, but it didn’t settle in my mind until reading Food Rules.

  16. November 10, 2010 5:53 pm

    I just added this to my wishlist. I’ve been eating more healthy since I returned from Europe this summer. I want to continue to encourage others to do so.

    Here’s my Green post:

    I’d love to have you stop by and see what you think.

  17. November 10, 2010 6:58 pm

    Those favorite rules are really cool! Makes a lot of sense too. Thanks for sharing, Kathy! Ah… that’s what FSC stands for: Forest Stewardship Council.

  18. November 10, 2010 7:26 pm

    Great review! One of the things I’d like to cut down is unhealthy snacks, hehe.

  19. November 10, 2010 7:30 pm

    This one comes off as a very interesting read! 😀

  20. November 10, 2010 7:43 pm

    This sounds like a great book! I like the rules you mention and especially that last one since I enjoy baking so much.

  21. givingreadingachance permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:35 pm

    I wish I could cut down on all the processed food we eat.. and ofcourse the snacks and all that. But it seems very difficult, I can’t stop my myself from eating bread 😦

  22. November 10, 2010 9:42 pm

    I think those are some great rules!

  23. November 10, 2010 9:59 pm

    I almost bought this the other day at the bookstore. I liked that it made so much sense and was so succinct.

  24. November 10, 2010 11:50 pm

    Love those rules! Someday I’ll read Mr. Pollan’s books. He’s a very interesting fellow.

  25. November 11, 2010 4:52 am

    I think this would be more of a gentle reminder than a revelation for me too, but you’re right, we do need those!

  26. November 11, 2010 5:45 am

    I’m not much of a veggie person but that cover looks awesome!

  27. November 11, 2010 8:43 am

    I so want to read this book, and also, In Defense of Food. I know that we already eat pretty healthily, but I am always up for new tricks and ideas when it comes to getting new foods into our diets. Thanks for sharing this campaign, and for putting this book at the top of my wish list!

  28. November 11, 2010 8:57 am

    It’s always good to read this kind of book to remind yourself about good diet! I’ve read other things by Pollan, he’s a good writer

  29. November 11, 2010 9:55 am

    I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and liked it very much. This one looks good too, and a lighter read 🙂
    Thanks for the review.

  30. November 11, 2010 12:37 pm

    I wanted this one but you got to it first. 😉 I enjoyed his other books, so I’ll definitely pick this one up at some point.

  31. November 11, 2010 6:44 pm

    I’ve read mixed reviews of this book. One person said it was like a light version of In Defense of Food, which was a light version of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it makes me skeptical of this book 🙂

  32. November 11, 2010 11:17 pm

    I think this would be a good book for people who don’t know if they are doing the “right” things. Thanks for the review. I also participated in Green Books.

  33. November 12, 2010 6:01 am

    I’ve been a Pollan fan for years and read his first couple of books. He has a sane approach.

  34. November 12, 2010 8:12 pm

    I think I need to read this. I know I eat all wrong … and I need to change that. (And yes … my milk does change color with the cereal I eat. That is bad.)

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