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Five Rules of Thumb from the book, In Defense of Food

When Michael Pollan says, "just eat food," you may think, that's simple.  Because of the thousands of products that line our grocery isles, we are left in a current state of confusion.  The general guidelines below will help us navigate those confusing shopping trips.

  1. Don't Eat Anything Your Great Grandmother Wouldn't Recognize As Food.

By going back this far, we are avoiding most modern foods.  Some examples would include: cereal bars, Go-Gurt Portable Yogurt, Corn chips, non-dairy creamers, protein or vitamin enhanced waters. 

    2.  Avoid Food Products Containing Ingredients that are A) Unfamiliar, B) Unpronounceable, C) More Than Five In Number, or that include D) High-Fructose Corn Syrup. 

The above are all markers to alert us to foods that have been highly processed.

    3.  Avoid Food Products That Make Health Claims.

In order for a food to have a "health claim" it has a package, which means it has been processed to some point.  Typically it is the big food companies that have the resources to secure a FDA-approved health claim.  A recent example of this would be all of the new and improved yogurt on the market enhanced with probiotics.   

    4.  Shop the Peripheries of the Supermarket and Stay Out of the Middle.

Most supermarkets are set up the same way with processed foods in the middle and fresh produce, meat and dairy around the perimeters. 

    5.  Get Out Of The Supermarket Whenever Possible.

Fresh, whole foods are found at Farmers' Markets, CSA programs (community supported agriculture) and your own garden.  Eating local is picked ripe, it travels a smaller distance to get to your table, and the foods are in season.  This means fresher, tastier, and more nutritious food. 

So, go out and find your local Farmer's Market, CSA or get your hands dirty in your own garden.  Doylestown Farmer's Market is located at State & Hamilton Streets, Doylestown, Pa.
Saturdays 7:00AM to 12:00 Noon or go to for more information. 

Eat Well,

Alison Finger, ND


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