To Borrow a Manifesto

In Defense of Food  “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

I would like to borrow the above manifesto coined by Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. (My review of his book can be found here).

  • The food I wish to eat is real food: food the way nature intended it to be. Walking into a supermarket, I am at times tempted by artfully displayed packages of processed foods all claiming to be good for my health: Cheerios that will lower my cholesterol; the Special K energy bar that can help with my weight loss; low-fat yoghurt that helps the eater avoid fats while still getting calcium from dairy. The advertising and packaging of these man-altered foods, entices you away from the produce section and compels you to buy into what the nutrition experts are telling you. I often resist the call of packaged foods and spend my time shopping among the freshly coloured fruits and vegetables found in the produce section.
  • I want to learn not to eat too much – like I did when I was a child. I need to learn, once again, to listen to the signals my body sends me: the signals that tell me when I am full, or when I am thirsty. I need to remember to listen. Listening will help me to control my food portions, and to know when to eat as well as how much.
  • I enjoy eating mostly plants: that is, the fruit and vegetables that are grown in fields. Meat products, when it is eaten, will be the side dish and will not occupy most of the space on my plate. Occasionally I will eat a piece of fish, a slice of pork, or some stir-fried chicken. I will have meatless weeks; but still enjoy pan fried pork dumplings, briyani, and scrambled eggs. I do not mourn the loss of animal protein on my plate, though I do find it tasty on occasion.

Do you have an eater’s manifesto? Have you thought about creating one? What is it?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

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About Colline Kook-Chun

I am an educator, blogger, wife and mother. I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, crafting, photography, and spending time with my family.
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32 Responses to To Borrow a Manifesto

  1. wvfarm2u says:

    You will be teaching your children well! Tell them to cook as well, because it is apparent that those frozen meals, so heavily laden with fat and salt and chemicals, are what supplements the fast food in non-cook diets. Maybe this youngest generation will not be chemically laden as the Baby Boomers have been.

    • Colline says:

      My children see me in the kitchen everyday cooking our meals from scratch. And I have explained to them why we should not eat the ready made meals we find in the freezers of our supermarkets. The next step, once they are old enough, is to teach them how to cook these meals themselves.

  2. magsx2 says:

    I also love fresh fruit and veg, I do prefer fresh vegetables rather than frozen, mainly because I think they are far more tasty, but I love my meat as well, and even though I usually only have a small amount of meat, I would still be lost without it for a main meal. :D

    • Colline says:

      The small amount of meat is perfect. According to research, the health worries begin to set in when a person avoids the fruit and vegetables and consumes only meat products and processed foods. As Pollan suggests in his book, moderation is the key.

  3. dadirri7 says:

    we like to eat just the way you describe … not too much, 99% fresh .. mostly home grown or locally grown … very little meat (we eat fish but no red meat) … mushrooms or pulses make very satisfying meals … i think the secret of success is to grow something green, even a few herbs make a big difference :)

    • Colline says:

      We, too, do not eat red meat. If we eat animal meat it is chicken – and of course fish. And you are right: pulses are absolutely delicious! We eat these at least once a week. Sometimes my children even request my lentil soup :)

  4. This book, as all his books, changed my life – I am creating my manifesto, every day.

  5. niasunset says:

    This is wonderful post. I noted his book dear Colline, Thank you so much, I think I should creat my manifesto too. Have a nice day, with my love, nia

  6. My boyfriend is vegetarian, I am not, but in the interest of ease of cooking I largely eat vegetarian meals throughout the week. I can’t tell you how many times people have looked at me in disbelief and asked, “How do you manage?” *sigh* Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. It’s not as though meatless meals are a profound hardship in this society, and there are a lot of things (like spaghetti sauce and chili) I prefer meatless.

    • Colline says:

      I find it no hardship at all to eat meatless – in fact I have found that many of the recipes I have tried are quite creative. It means, too, that we are eating vegetables that normally we would not eat. (I agree, a tomato and basil sauce is absolutely delicious over spaghetti!)

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    No manifesto, pre se, but I am instituting changes to my diet. We’ll see where this takes me. :)

    • Colline says:

      That is a wonderful thing about one`s personal manifesto: it is always changing as you adapt your eating patterns to what your lifestyle and health goals are.

  8. I, too have adopted the manifesto of Michael Pollan.
    I found that once I ate less meat and more alternate sources of protein, I actually craved them instead! One of my favorite lunches is some torn pieces of pita bread with hummus and some raw veggies to go with it. It is very filling and satisfying. Because I don’t often think of myself when I am at work, I often forget to re-hydrate with water. When I do break for lunch, I focus on the sweet vegetable juices as I take a bite out of carrot and celery and then realize how dehydrated I really am! When I return to work, I feel energized, hydrated, not too full, but full enough and find the afternoon productive, rather than feeling sluggish as when I eat a large lunch heavy on protein and too many carbs. I do enjoy a hard boiled egg in the morning, though. I find this kind of protein very filling and I don’t feel hungry until many hours later.

    • Colline says:

      Perfect Darlene. Thanks for sharing with us what you eat for lunch – I think I will follow suit.
      I have found,too, that when I eat too much animal protein I actually crave the sweetness of fruit and the crispiness of the vegetable. I have found that at BBQs I now automatically fill my plate with more salads than one would expect to at such a meal.

  9. I promise you, nothing tastes as good as homegrown, sheep manure fertilised, companion-planted and protected from “goggas”, sun-ripened, totally organic veggies! Mmmmm

  10. Alex Autin says:

    My manifesto is similar to yours. It starts in the grocery store because no matter how strong those urges to midnight snack are, if I don’t have it in the house I can’t eat it.
    I utilize perimeter shopping, or buying the majority of my food from the perimeter of the supermarket which usually contains fresh foods and avoiding the aisles which contains the processed stuff. I also play a mind game with myself…I imagine the entire world is watching me unload my basket at the check out stand…and I think… now, what would I be embarrassed about being seen buying?

    • Colline says:

      Too true – if all you have in the house are apples and carrots, then that is what you will eat when hungry. Also, I know my kids are hungy when I offer them fruit and they grab it!
      Speaking of shopping: I have often received comments on what I unload from my cart; including surprise when I let out that my girls love broccoli and spnach lasagna :)

  11. Christine says:

    You’ve really got me thinking. I’ve been wanting to plant my own greens and start a chicken coop. I feel bad when I buy those frozen chicken nuggets and cured meats that make packing lunch so easy, but it’s so “convenient”. I need to stop finding a simpler way and just doing it the right way. Thanks Colline!

  12. Sonel says:

    Lovely post hon and well, if I could I would only eat salads. I love salads and veggies and my favourite is mushroom. We enjoy chicken and fish the most. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts. :)

  13. takingsnaps says:

    I’ve read all the diets, seen all the prepackaged foods in the supermarkets and have just decided that if I eat the way my Mum fed us as kids then that’s the way forward, good healthy food with naughty treats (in moderation) Now on the downside, I’m married to a chef who knows that dishes always taste better when they contain butter or cream or both!! It’s a constant battle!!

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