be careful what you put in your mouth

Remember Michael Pollan? (b. 1955)  He’s the one who cited a few basic rules about eating, delivered  in his book In Defence of Food : An Eater’s Manifesto (2008)., repeated in Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual  (2009).    They are simple and memorable:

Eat food. 

Not too much.

Mostly plants.

The are nice, easy rules to eat and live (longer) by.

Here's another one: don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognise as food. Hey. I'm old enough to be a great-grandmother but my grandchildren's generation is slower off the launching pad.

Pollan is very critical of the food industry and the sad fact that the cheapest food is the least healthy and the most fattening.  These days it seems that only rich people can afford to be thin. But there’s a threatening corollary to this.  Rich people can afford to be esoteric and who knows if what they are eating is healthy?  I thought of this the other day when I was reading a restaurant review in the NYT and wondered at the items on the menu selected for description:

-lamb heart ashes scattered over sunchoke cream mixed with pickled sunchokes

-milk skin with sourdough and smoked hike

-pig’s blood on a traditional Swedish pancake under rose petals, cherries and a sweet-sour rose hip jelly

-birch ice cream under white slices of raw pine mushrooms and woodruff leaves


My online dictionary didn’t recognise sunchokes. I recognised pancake and sourdough -  and cherries.

It all comes back to Pollan, though. He gives his orders in a simple, comforting way. He says eat what grows from a plant, not what is made in a plant. We should be aware of what we are eating and where it came from.

Put that fibre bar down, you don’t know where it’s been!