Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pollan tells us how to eat

This is my final Michael Pollan post. He has told us what to eat and at the end of In Defense of Food, Pollan gives some guidelines on How to Eat (not too much). Some of these hit home for my family, more than "what" to eat.
  • Pay More, Eat Less- I know, in a recession we are already following this principle. But, according to Pollan, this is about quality vs. quantity. We are a Sam's Club economy believing more and bigger is better. But, just maybe... better is better. Shrink the portions and eat better quality food. Overeating is killing us because we have no internal cues to stop us from eating. We eat until the food is gone, not until we are "no longer hungry" and then wonder why we are fat. Pollan is at his best during this section (183).
  • Eat Meals- Sit at a table, with others (if possible), not in front of a TV or in a car. Slow down. Not only should we sit to eat (together). We should eat something prepared, not taken from a freezer and warmed by microwave, each person in the family eating their favorite prepared food-like substance (189).
  • Do all your eating at a table- not a desk (192).
  • Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does- I love this one. Gas stations make more money from snack foods than selling gas. As Pollan says, they sell the car and us the same processed corn- ethanol for the auto and high-fructose corn syrup for us (192).
  • Try not to eat alone- this can be difficult, but the shared meal keeps us from eating as much and makes us human (not just animal). it is part of the difference between feeding (bad) and eating (good)(192).
  • Consult your gut- Our gut should tell us what to eat and how much, not the portion size on the plate, the television show or our eyes. Follow the 3/4 full principle. When you are 3/4 full...Stop eating (192).
  • Eat Slowly- be deliberate. Enjoy your food. Be mindful. Don't gorge yourself (194).
  • Cook and, if you can, plant a garden- We live in the city on a small lot and have a garden. If you have a piece of land, a porch, a ledge, or a balcony- you can have a garden. Food should not be fast, cheap and easy. It connects us to nature, others and our own bodies. Take the time to cook a meal, especially if you have planted something. In today's world, it is an active state of rebellion and resistance- and its saves money (197).
There it is. I think these principles are for everyone, especially those that call themselves Christians. I think the church should be talking about it.

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

and ENJOY.

1 comment:

Mike said...

thanks for this series, Rick. I read 'Omnivore', and have had this one on my list for a while now. I think I'll move it up, and start with your summary in the meantime. really, really helpful.