I am reading a wonderful book by Michael Pollan called Food Rules; An Eater's Manual. It is not a cookbook or a diet book or really like any book on food I've read before. It is a very simple, and very wise, and very funny look at what is and is not food. And it is pretty much everything you need to know about what to buy, how to cook, and what to eat.
The first section is called, simply, "What should I eat?". Rule one, "Eat food". Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food, don't eat anything with ingredients a third grader couldn't pronounce, avoid foods that are pretending to something they are not. This pretty much eliminates alot of what is sold in supermarkets as food. But is leaves us with so much to choose from. Plain, simple food that has been nourishing us forever.
So what kind of food should we eat. Section two says, "Mostly plants, especially the leaves. I really like Rule 19: "If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't." Next time you go shopping notice how much of our food is industrial. Even health foods, despite being made with good ingredients, are still made in factories and shipped thousands of miles. And I like Rule 35, "Eat sweets as you find them in nature". I remember in the Little House on the Prairie books what a treat it was to get fresh fruit. And I remember as a kid visiting my aunt in Florida and how magical it was to pick an orange right off the tree. And how sweet and good it tasted. I forget sometimes what a miracle a fresh strawberry is. And how lucky we are to find so much sweetness all around us.
The last section is "How should I eat?". The answer, "Not too much" was a revelation to me. I love to cook and I love to eat, alot! Never really to excess, but maybe more than I need. I know that often I am not eating to live, but for recreation. And it is good to be reminded, as Rule 47 says to "Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. I also like Rule 51, "Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it. Which brings me around back to what I hope this blog is all about, the simple joy of fresh food, made with love, and shared with those you love.
I will leave you with the very last Rule, which is to break the rules once in a while. I enjoy this book so much because it does give simple, clear, easy to remember reminders without taking itself too seriously. Food means so much. It is what we are made of, it is our connection to the earth and it is what brings us together. And it is fun.