In his book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, Michael Pollan draws attention to America’s healthcare crisis, especially in relation to the diverse diseases that result from having a poor diet. The author introduces 64 rules related to eating, which he narrows down to three main concepts including; Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much (Pollan 1-112). As observable in the three statements, the author explains to his readers to eat, though not too much, and most of all, to eat the foods that are mainly acquired from plants. The rules that Pollan presents in his book are based on traditional and cultural eating habits. His argument regarding his basis is that the western culture is quickly becoming too concentrated on processed foods, which has in turn, been responsible for the deteriorating health of most people today. In essence, the book provides a guideline for attaining good and responsible eating habits for the individuals who are concerned about their health. (Pollan 1-112).

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This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan. Specifically, the paper provides an analysis of the three statements, “Eat Food”, “Mostly Plants”, and “Not Too Much”,. as presented in the novel.


Eat Food

The first statement that the author introduces to his readers is the concept of eating food. By this, he means that people should engage in the practice of eating real food as opposed to food that has been processed (Bain 1). Accordingly, this statement has a strong link to Michael’s belief that people in the modern world are more accustomed to eating processed foods, instead of fresh food. He begins by warning his readers not to eat food that their ancestors would not recognize as food. This builds on his argument regarding processed food whereby the modern day ‘foods’ have undergone too much processing that they can no longer be recognized as being food. Food rule number 22 states, “It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car” (Pollan 1-112). With this, the author draws attention to the types of foods that individuals should eat and the types that they should not. This statement carries a lot of meaning for the readers, especially those that live in urban cities. This is because such people rarely have the time to prepare good meals for themselves, and for that reason, end up ordering take out from restaurants. In his novel, the author argues that a meal can only be termed as good food if it has been prepared by the water from the start to the finish.

Mostly Plants

In food rule number 19, the author states “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t” (Pollan 1-112). With this statement, the author urges his readers to put plants and other vegetables first in their list of foods to eat. He draws attention to the common practice of “nutritionism” whereby individuals focus more on the nutrients found in food, as opposed to the food on its own (Parker-Pope 1). He explains that by doing this, companies tend to process foods that are rich in particular nutrients, which at most times are not beneficial to the eater, hence leading to various kinds of diseases in the long run. The author recommends the consumption of fruits and vegetables that are fresh from the garden, and he believes that such foods are very nutritious ad they provide the nutritional supplements that individuals require for a healthy life. Though he recommends the consumption of vegetables, the author is also quick to state the benefit of other foods such as meats. He explains that there are some nutrients that foods such as meats provide and plats cannot.

Not Too Much

Another concept or eating habit that the author has introduced in this novel is what he terms as, Not Too Much. Principally, this statement examines the different manners of eating that individuals portray in their daily lives (Bain 1). He highlights a number of eating habits that individuals have today including eating at work, eating in when bored, and eating in excess among other things. The author condemns any person who overeats knowingly or unknowingly and urges such individuals to change their behaviours with regards to the consumption of food. In rule number 46 the author states, “Stop eating before you’re full and try to eat only to 67 to 80 per cent capacity” (Pollan 1-112). This rule further explains the author’s views regarding good eating habits where he argues for reduced eating. Observably, this rule is about individuals being mindful of what they eat and how they eat it. As the author explains, most people hold the belief that they should eat until they are full, however, the author explains that this is the first step towards unhealthy eating habits. This is because hunger may sometimes be psychological, eating to get full will, therefore, simply eating too much.





Work Cited

Bain, Jennifer. Michael Pollan Offers 64 Rules For Eating Well. The Star, 2 January 2010. Web.

26 January 2012 <<–michael-pollan-offers-64-rules-for-eating-well>>

Parker-Pope, Tara. Michael Pollan Offers 64 Ways To Eat Food. New York Times, 8 January

  1. Web. 26 January, 2012. <<>>

Pollan, Michael. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin Group USA, 2009. Print.

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