Newly Illustrated FOOD RULES -- Book Review

>> Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm a bit late to the game with reading Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, Michael Pollan's simple book about eating, well, simply. It's a quick read, providing a succinct, consistent message that eating -- food, in general, really -- doesn't have to be complicated. This latest edition of the book is especially neat.

Why? It's beautifully illustrated by the talented Maria Kalman.

If you, like me, haven't read the original Food Rules, you'll be interested to learn that this new edition has been expanded with 19 additional rules inspired by readers. Many of them are seemingly common sense. However, as a person who tries her best to eat whole foods as often as possible, even I found myself pausing to ponder a few.

One of my favorites? 45: Eat All the Junk Food You Want as Long as You Cook It Yourself.

We all know I have a sweet tooth. So, reading in black and white that there is room for indulgence in a whole foods, healthy diet is comforting. And here's something fun I did -- I read the entire book while trying to apply each rule to the McRib, McDonald's popular "pork" sandwich that features over 70 ingredients, most of them difficult to pronounce. I would go on, but the sandwich breaks too many of Pollan's rules to list in one blog post.


Michael Pollan is the author of five books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best nonfiction work of 2001 and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon, and the national bestsellers, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food.

A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association.

Maira Kalman is an illustrator, author, and designer. She is the author of The Principles of Uncertainty and she illustrated the bestselling edition of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. Ms. Kalman’s twelve children’s books include Max Makes a Million, Stay Up Late, Swami on Rye, and What Pete Ate. She also has designed fabric for Isaac Mizrahi, accessories for Kate Spade, sets for the Mark Morris Dance Company, and, with her late husband Tibor Kalman under the M&Co. label, clocks, umbrellas, and other accessories for the Museum of Modern Art. Ms. Kalman’s work is shown at the Julie Saul Gallery in Manhattan.

If you'd like to catch a glimpse of Kalman's gorgeous illustrations for Food Rules, SF Girl By Bay has a beautiful collage of them on her site.

Note: I received a copy of the newly illustrated Food Rules (released in November 2011) from the publisher, Penguin Press, through TLC Book Tours. You can check out the rest of the tour here.

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