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Rule 2 – Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

Pollan elaborates: “Imagine your great-grandmother at your side as you roll down the aisles of the supermarket. You’re standing together in front of the dairy case. She picks up a package of Go-GURT Portable Yogurt tubes–and hasn’t a clue what this plastic cylinder of colored and flavored gel could possibly be. Is it a food or is it toothpaste? There are now thousands of foodish products in the supermarket that our ancestors simply wouldn’t recognize as food.”

I’m thinking Koolaid and Lunchables might fit the bill too!

He goes on to explain that “the reasons to avoid eating such complicated food products are many, and go beyond the various chemical additives and corn and soy derivatives they contain, or the plastics in which they are typically packaged, some of which are probably toxic.” Pollan explains that these kinds of foods tend to trigger our inborn preferences for sweetness, fat and salt. Such flavors are hard to find in nature but cheap for food companies to manufacture, and easy to load up on in the grocery store. Bottom line, the great-grandma rule can help keep this kind of rubbishy food out of our diets.

The tips are courtesy of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin, 2009.

Happy, Healthy Eating!

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