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Food Rules: An Eater's Manual Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 972 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


A Look Inside Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

Michael Pollan's definitive compendium, Food Rules, is here brought to colorful life with the addition of Maira Kalman's beloved illustrations.

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Review

"In the more than four decades that I have been reading and writing about the findings of nutritional science, I have come across nothing more intelligent, sensible and simple to follow than the 64 principles outlined in a slender, easy-to-digest new book called Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan." --Jane Brody, The New York Times 

"The most sensible diet plan ever? We think it's the one that Michael Pollan outlined a few years ago: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” So we're happy that in his little new book, Food Rules, Pollan offers more common-sense rules for eating: 64 of them, in fact, all thought-provoking and some laugh-out-loud funny." --The Houston Chronicle

" It doesn't get much easier than this. Each page has a simple rule, sometimes with a short explanation, sometimes without, that promotes Pollan's back-to-the-basics-of-food (and-food-enjoyment) philosophy." --The Los Angeles Times
 
"A useful and funny purse-sized manual that could easily replace all the diet books on your bookshelf."  --Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press; Upd Ill edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594203083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594203084
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (972 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Kristine Lofgren VINE VOICE on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is amazing how complicated we have allowed our diets, and our understanding of our diets, to become. Even Pollan's most recent book In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto - which seemed to be a pretty simple premise - ended up being a (wonderfully) complicated journey through our food system. So when I read that this book was coming out, I wondered if it was necessary given the wealth of information already covered. The answer is: yes, this book is necessary.

While there are a million other guides to a healthy diet running around out there, few manage to boil down the essentials in such a usable way. Pollan takes the essential and fascinating information that he wrote about in his previous book and simmers it down into a succinct (the book is basically 70 half pages long) "manual" of rules for eating. While this book retains some of the bones of its predecessor, it is by no means a Cliff's Notes version. This manual is essential reading all on its own.

Food Rules is broken down into 3 sections (and this will sound familiar to those that read In Defense of Food): 1- What should I eat? (Eat food) 2 - What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly plants) and 3 - How should I eat? (Not too much). Each section includes 20 or so rules that you can pick and choose from in order to eat a healthy diet. Some of the rules overlap (Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce and Avoid ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry, for instance) and some seem like such common sense that it is almost laughable to include them, but that is why this manual is so important. It distills all of this complex information that we see and hear every day and turns it into something relatable.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, because I have been searching for just this type of book for many of my clients as a New Year's gift. I read the slim book quickly in a bookstore and it is the perfect present for my clients who are not eating healthy diets (but who have confessed they wish to.)

I am an interior designer/organizer and see how my clients eat all the time when I redesign and organize their kitchens. Pollan's In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma are both excellent, but can be intimidating. Not Food Rules--it is short and easy to understand.

The book is divided into three parts and has 64 chapters or rules. The following will give you an good idea of what the book is about: Part I, What should I eat? Includes such chapters as "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food", "avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients", and "avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup".

Part II, What kind of food should I eat? Includes "Eat mostly plants, especially leaves", "eat your colors", and "the whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead."

Part III, How should I eat? Includes "pay more, eat less," "eat less," and "limit your snacks to unprocessed plant food."

For those of you who desire a healthier diet, Food Rules is a terrific guide that makes understanding what to put into your body simple to understand and implement.

Finally, if healthy eating is a new concept for you, you will find the clever chapter titles easy to memorize, thus making the concept of healthy eating a simple one to learn.

Highly recommend.

By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT and SELL YOUR HOME FAST IN A BUYER'S MARKET
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Format: Paperback
If you got in on the ground floor, you chewed every page of The Omnivore's Dilemma, (464 pages, $8.00 at Amazon).

If you were a second responder, the first Michael Pollan book you read was In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, (256 pages, $7.50 at Amazon), which boils theory and anecdote down to a tasty, healthy feeding strategy.

If you're new to the topic or haven't paid attention --- or love Pollan's work and want to spread the gospel --- here's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (137 pages, $11 retail, $5.50 at Amazon), a skinny paperback that says pretty much everything you'd find in his longer books.

Or you can consider Pollan's reduction of his message to seven words --- "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" --- and read nothing more because you know how to crack that koan and adopt a way of eating that just might save your life.

Why, you may wonder, does a clearly written 256-page book need to be boiled down to 64 general principles?

Two reasons.

Those of us who read about food have, in the last few years, been swamped by the language of nutrition. Antioxidants. Polyphenols. Probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids. But you can know all about this stuff and still not be able to answer the basic question: Yeah, but what should I eat?

Then there are those who have never heard Pollan's message. They're the folks on the coach, eating pre-packaged snack food, sucking down sodas, serving vegetables as an afterthought. In short, people who are devotees of the Western diet --- which is, says Pollan, "the one diet that reliably makes its people sick!"

Pollan wants to help both groups --- and break the cycle of self-created disease.
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