Love Him or Loathe Him : One Mother Responds to Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”

Great, yet another man’s telling me about my family’s diet.

Michael Pollan, I saw you on the Daily Show, and while I was intrigued by your manifesto, “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” I have to say, Michael, Michael, Michael—food guru you may be, mother you are not.

Here’s what I think about your stinkin’ rules.

Michael’s Rule #2: Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
Really? Because I don’t think she would recognize a chocolate cake shake as “food,” but I bet she’d like it.

Michael’s Rule #7: Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader cannot pronounce.
Oh yeah? It happens I have a third grader, and she’s in the gifted reading program. Guess you didn’t think of that, huh?

Michael’s Rule #15: Get out of the supermarket whenever you can.
Awesome! Potbelly’s, Al’s Italian Beef and Salerno’s here I come!

Michael’s Rule #22: Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
When I’m trying to get the cat to stop eating plants, what kind of example would I be setting?

Michael’s Rule #25: Eat your colors.
I can totally do that. Myself? I’m partial to orange. Cheetos, hot sauce, Velveeta…

Michael’s Rule #26: Drink the spinach water.
Really, Michael? That’s just gross.

Michael’s Rule #41: Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
Houston, we have a winner. French toast for breakfast, a pound of hummus for lunch and the extra large spaghetti bowl from Maggiano’s for dinner? How could I pass that up?

Michael’s Rule #43: Have a glass of wine with dinner.
Ding ding ding ding! But, just with dinner?

Michael’s Rule #49: Eat slowly.
Sorry, but you’ve shown your cards on this one, Mike. Clearly, you have no children. Or an army of nannies.

Michael’s Rule #59: Try not to eat alone.
You’re assuming I ever AM alone.

Michael’s Rule #61: Leave something on your plate.
Fine–but you didn’t say I had to leave anything on my kids’…pass the fries, damnit.

We kid, Michael, we kid…Want to read the “rules” for yourself? You can get the book here from

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

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