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Rule 11 – Avoid Foods You See Advertised on Television.

“Food marketers are ingenious” says Pollan “at turning criticisms of their products–and rules like these–into new ways to sell slightly different versions of the same processed foods: They simply reformulate (to be low-fat, have no High Fructose Corn Syrup or transfats, or to contain fewer ingredients) and then boast about their implied healthfulness, whether the boast is meaningful or not” (25). The best way to deal with all this, according to Pollan, is to simply refuse to buy advertised food. After all, only the biggest food manufacturers (notice the different between manufacturing “food” and growing it) can really afford to advertise their products on television.

Of course we should make an exception for the 5 percent of ads that actually do promote whole foods (walnuts, prunes, etc.), but most ads tempt us to buy those “edible food-like substances” about which Pollan has already warned us. Lunchables “no,” pistachios “yes!” And most of all, just buy all those whole foods that never get advertised on television at all (lentils, olives, kale, apples, sardines, yams, wild caught Alaskan salmon, oranges, brown rice, etc.).

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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