Michael Pollan's Food Rules began with his hunch that the wisdom of our grandparents might have more helpful things to say about how to eat well than the recommendations of science or industry or government. The result was a slim volume of food wisdom that has forever changed how we think about food. Now in a new edition illustrated by artist Maira Kalman, and expanded with a new introduction and nineteen additional food rules, this hardcover volume marks an advance in the national dialogue that Food Rules inspired.
The impetus for this new edition came from readers. Many chimed in with personal policies they had found useful in navigating the supermarket, or rules they recalled hearing from their mothers and grandmothers. Several of the new rules – Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good; If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, you're probably not hungry; When you eat real food, you don't need rules – underscore the central teaching of the original Food Rules, which is that eating doesn't have to be so complicated, and food is as much about pleasure and communion as it is about nutrition and health. Maira Kalman illustrates that simple truth with her paintings, bringing color, life and wit to Pollan's philosophy.
And reviewer Allison Arieff wrote in the Atlantic, "Pollan has one-upped his own brilliance by inviting artist Maira Kalman to collaborate on a new edition of Food Rules, a move that has transformed his already super important slender manifesto into something wholly unexpected. If Food Rules #1 was broccoli, Food Rules 2.0 is a ripe strawberry, smile-inducing and inspired.
Kalman, who has brought both euphoria and melancholy to her audience with magical visual narratives about stuff you didn't pay attention to in high school civics class, is the perfect foil to Pollan's pragmatism. Though some of her suggested food rules didn't make the cut (i.e. "The French fries on someone else's plate carry no calories") others transform what once felt a little like homework into something whimsical and inspirational. To wit: "Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good." The sense of pure joy her work imparts opens up a whole new audience for this essential guide.
Buy the book, revel in its beauty, and help continue and expand the conversation about how to eat. And hey, USDA, why not have Kalman take a stab at the long-suffering food pyramid?"
Purchase a copy of this book at Barnes & Noble.