Michael Pollan has a new book out on "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual." You didn't need to come here to find this out, but what does having rules mean for you?
They say "rules are meant to be broken" and often we break rules on food, whether intentionally or by happenstance in the course of the day.
Pollan does have good rules, as exhibited in this excerpt.
#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.
#39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
#47 Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
Then there are some silly ones:
#36 Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
#58 Do all your eating at a table.
#11 Avoid foods you see advertised on television.
They aren't completely silly, but there aren't very useful in practicality.
Using Pollan's rules as a guidelines for building your own rules is more ideal. Pollan is smart and asks a lot of good questions. However, your rules have to suit yourself, even if they don't cover everyone who will read Pollan's new book.
Then there is how people interpret rules. If you get the general message of say, #11, the advice is solid. If you freak out that you ate a food that you saw advertised, you won't get much out of this game.
And you may have your own interpretation of which of Pollan's rules are sensible versus silly. You could sharply disagree with me on #39 and go nuts over any possible consumption of junk food.
As much as I like Pollan and his work, use his rules more as guidelines, inspiration for how you can do better. In creating your own system, not only do you have to create the rules, but also you have to note the times rules can be broken, what exceptions there will be, and what consequences result.
Jon Stewart asked Pollan Monday night on "The Daily Show" whether there was one overriding simple rule. Pollan said, "Eat Food ... and avoid edible food-like substances." Let's start the conversation there.