Between 4:30 and dinnertime, if my kids want something to eat, they can eat carrots.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, wants our food rules, and that is the one that I gave him.

I’d like your help gathering some rules for eating well. My premise is that culture has a lot to teach us about how to choose, prepare and eat food, and that this wisdom is worth collecting and preserving before it disappears.

In recent years, we’ve deferred to the voices of science and industry when it comes to eating, yet often their advice has served us poorly, or has merely confirmed the wisdom of our grandmother after the fact. “Eat your colors,” an Australian reader’s grandmother used to tell her; now we hear the same advice from nutritionists, citing the value of including as many different phytochemicals in the diet as possible.

So far 1,593 comments have been left on the New York Times piece that Pollan wrote to request our rules. Here are a few that I thought we all could benefit from following (I, of course, haven’t read through the entire bunch).

If its title is the same worldwide, it may not be food. For example: Cheetos, Big Mac.


Eat foods prepared with love. Share.


If you don’t finish it for dinner, you’ll get it for breakfast.


Sit down and eat together.

Eat your colors.


How you eat, and what you eat, is a measure of how balanced your life is.


Only eat cereal that didn’t change the color of the milk.


Grow your food.


Michael Pollan will post the food rules on his website, and he’ll include the best ones in a collection of food rules that he’s compiling. 

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