I like Michael Pollen’s In Defense of Food so much that I wrote down a few of his simple food rules on a note card I keep this in my food pricing diary. I read it as a reminder when I am grocery shopping - it helps me remember what kind of food I want to put into my body.
Here are the rules I wrote down about shopping:
1) Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar b) unpronounceable c) more than 5 in number and d) have high-fructose corn syrup
2) Avoid food products that make health claims
3) Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle (b/c fruits and veggies are on the peripheries!)
4) Get out of the supermarket whenever possible (i.e. head to the Farmer’s Market)
Here are his rules about eating:
1) Pay more, eat less
2) Eat meals
3) Do all your eating at a table (Mom & Dad - you failed at this one)
4) Don’t get your fuel from the same place your card does (Again, Mom & Dad - no gas station meals, please)
5) Consult your gut
6) Eat slowly
7) Cook and plant a garden (oh if only I had the space for a garden...)
I do pretty well on most of these, although it is actually rather hard to find certain products with less than 5 ingredients, even at Whole Foods (i.e. my beloved graham crackers).
Ultimately, I'm a bit disturbed that this way of eating is NOT the norm in our society. I know I don't always abide by these rules, but simplifying my food choices and paying more attention to the actual meal is something I'm striving for.