Michael Pollan’s Food Rules are a great exploration into the sets of personal codes we set up for ourselves to guide and govern our relationship and behaviours with food. They represent ethics of our grandparents, hint at cultural values and traditions, and confer plain and simple common sense. For example:
#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
#36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
#47 Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
#58 Do all your eating at a table.
#21 It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language.
I went camping a few weeks ago, and ended up having a conversation around the campfire about breaking our personal food rules. For instance, as a person who would never normally eat a marshmallow (for a multitude of reasons), I’m quite content to roast one or two on an open flame and eat them in the woods, making me a camping marshmallow-muncher. I would also peg myself as a conference coffee-drinker, and have since heard someone else refer to themselves as a movie theatre popcorn-eater.
Funnily enough, Pollan’s very last rule is #64 Break the rules once in a while. Where do you break your food rules?