Pollan's Food Rules
Acclaimed food author, Michael Pollan, spends much of his time speaking on the subject of good food and healthy diets. His food mantra, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” has now become rather famous throughout the organic and health food movements. The financial collapse in 2008 brought with it a food crisis as the trading of these commodities was skewed by speculation and financial strain.
Food crises, however, are a difficult concept to define, the causes aren’t always made immediately clear to us. Pollan explains that while the world managed to produce enough food to feed 11 billion people in 2008, there were still one in seven people that did not have enough to eat that year. How can this be? The “Aha” moment comes when Pollan explains that around half of the food produced is fed to our livestock and that a large portion of the grains grown in the United States are used for producing “biofuels.”
So how do we tilt the balance and make sure that less people go hungry? Though the overall solution has many parts, Pollan focuses on two main things that can be done. By shifting diets to include less meat, the consumption of food by livestock would be decreased. This being fairly unlikely in the coming years, Pollan also expresses support for the adoption of more widespread organic growing techniques as they produce comparable yields in developed countries and upwards of 180% yields in developing countries.
The auspicious aspect of Pollan’s rules is that they are healthy for both the individual and the planet. Here are some more of Pollan’s tips that follow this trend. It may feel like a drop in the bucket but when shared with friends and mutually encouraged we can make a big difference.
- Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
- Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
- Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
- Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot.
- It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says.
- Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love.
- Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.