That’s rule #24 in Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, now out in a whimsically illustrated edition. As Laura Klein of OrganicAuthority.com points out in a recent post on the HuffPo food blog, if you follow this rule: “eat real food,” you don’t need other rules.
I love this one. Of course, it’s not really a stand-alone rule–it assumes you know what’s meant by “real food” and it assumes a food culture that supports the eating of said real food.
One example of the way our family follows this “rule” is with respect to bread. I feel that a good, fresh baguette (the kind that’s good only on the day it’s baked) is better than the kind of bread whose oxylated/ethylated-whatevers keeps it fresh for weeks–even if that kind is brown and screams “Whole Grain!!!” while the baguette sits in its serene whiteness. The baguette is more ‘real’–no unpronounceable chemical ingredients, stales and rots quickly, and has a long tradition.
(Besides, we ate baguettes every day in France with Nora. How could the memory of that alone not imbue them with special healthfulness?)