ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

Pollan's New Project - Your Family's Food Rules

Michael Pollan pressed readers of the NYT Well blog to post their family tips on smart eating, pursuing his thread that traditional, ethnic or family wisdom has more to offer than scientists and nutritionists.

In one day he got more than 1,200 comments (though a tech glitch prevents most of them from appearing, for the moment). Here are a few:

  • When (my grandmother) made her famous babka, you were never sure if it was a ‘cake’ or a ‘bread’ because she only used enough sugar to give you the illusion of it being sweet. TOO SWEET was never an option in her baked goods.
  • Eat a little of everything; take your time; enjoy your food.
  • “Don’t eat plastic food.” In other words, if it’s not a real ingredient, you don’t want it–this applies to faux sugars, chemical additives, fake colors, etc.
  • My main food rule is “cook your own food from scratch.” This was as much a food rule growing up in my family as it was a budget rule.
  • My grandmother always used to say: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” She always kept her slim figure and she never had to diet.
  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.

When I was growing up in the 1970s, my family got a wok and made a lot of stir fries. We learned a little bit of meat goes a long way -- a rule I live by today. Another rule I try and live by though admittedly don't always succeed in following -- at least two sides of veggies with dinner; if we're eating vegetarian that night, it means at least three (including easy ones like raw carrots or hummus).
- Samuel Fromartz