by Michael Pollan, illustrated by Maira Kalman
First sentence: “Eating in our time has gotten complicated — needlessly so, in my opinion.”
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I suppose this is kind of an unusual pick for me, since I’ve been on board with Michael Pollan’s philosophy (more or less) for years now. And so, in many ways, this little “eater’s manual” is kind of superfluous, at least for me.
But, since I picked it for my in-person book group (I’d wanted to pick Kitchen Counter Cooking School, but the library only has one copy, and I needed something more accessible), I figured I needed to read it.
And while I don’t think I learned anything new, this lovely illustrated, slim book was simply a joy to read. Pollan’s taken his whole philosophy and boiled it down to seven words — Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants — and has 83 rules to help you follow that philosophy. In other words: he makes the complicated and long Omnivore’s Dilemma accessible for, well, ordinary people.
Which means that I hope people will read it, and we can have some good discussion. Because there are some good ideas in this book.
Oh, and as as aside: my favorite rule? I have three: #22, It’s Not Food if It Arrived Through the Window of Your Car; #57, If You’re Not Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple, Then You’re Probably Not Hungry; and #76, Place a Boquet of Flowers on the Table and Everything Will Taste Twice as Good.