Food Rules

  1. Don’t eat egg salad from a vending machine.David A. Wilson
  2. My parents are both from Italy, and one of our family rules was that you could not leave the table unil you had fished your fruit: “Non si puo lasciare la tavola fino che hai finito la frutta.”  It was a great way to incorporate fruit into our diets and also helped satiate our sweet tooths, keeping us away from less healthful sweets.Marta C. Larusso
  3. “You don’t get fat on food you pray over.”  This is from a friend who points out that food prepared at home, served at the table and given thanks for are more appreciated and more healthful than food eaten on the run.Carol Jackson
  4. From my Romanian grandmother: “Breakfast, you should eat alone.  Lunch you should share with a friend.  Dinner, give to your enemy.”Irina A. Dumitrescu
  5. Don’t eat anything that took more energy to ship than to grow.Carrie Cizauskas
  6. Never eat something that is pretending to be something else; e.g., no “textured vegetable protein” or veggie burgers (fake meat), no artificial sweeteners, no margarine (fake butter), no “low fat” sour cream, no turkey bacon, no “chocolate-flavor sauce” that doesn’t contain chocolate, no “quorn.”  If I want something that tastes like meat or butter, I would rather have the real thing than some chemical concoction pretending to be more healthful.Sonya Legg
  7. I always say, “Don’t yuck someone’s yum.”  Not a diet strategy but an important food lesson.  There is someone out there who likes deep-fried sheep eyeballs, and, well, more power to them.Rachael Narins
  8. “Make and take your own lunch to work.”  My father has always done this, and so have I.  It saves money, and you know what you are eating.Hope Donovan Rider
  9. If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry.Emma Fogt
  10. The Chinese have a saying: “Eat until you are seven-tenths full and save the other three-tenths for hunger.”  That way, food always tastes good, and you don’t eat too much.Nancy Ni
  11. Eat foods in inverse proportion to how much its lobby spends to push it.Kirk Westphal
  12. I am living in Jaan and follow these simple rules in preparing each meal:
    • GO HO — incorporate five different cooking methods (steamed rice, simmered vegetables, grilled tofu, sauteed vegetables, raw fish, etc.)
    • GO SHIKI — incorporate five colors (red, white, green, black, yellow)
    • GO MI — incorporate five flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy)
    While it might look like a lot of work, it is actually very easy and helps with menu planning and shopping.Yukari Sakamoto
  13. Avoid snack foods with the “Oh” sound in their names: Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Hostess Ho Hos, Etc.Donna David
  14. One of my top rules for eating comes from economics.  The law of diminishing marginal utility reminds me that each additional bite is generally less satisfying that the previous bite.  This helps me slow down, savor the first bites, stop eating sooner.  It also helps get plenty of variety in my diet, because this rule also makes a meal of small plates far more enticing: 3 bites of 5 plates versus 15 bites of 1 will maximize satisfaction and nutritional variety.Laura Kelley
  15. No second helpings, no matter how scrumptious.Karen Harmin
  16. Don’t eat anything you aren’t willing to kill yourself.Lorene Lavora
  17. “It’s better to pay the grocer than the doctor,” was the saying my Italian grandmother would frequently use to remind us of the love and attention to detail that went into her cooking.John Forti
  18. After spending some time working with people with eating disorders, I came up with this rule: “Don’t create arbitrary rules for eating if their only purpose is to help you feel in control.”  I try to eat healthfully, but if there’s a choice between eating ice cream and spending all day obsessing about eating ice cream, I’m going to eat the ice cream!Laura Usher
  19. When you’re eating, don’t talk about other past meals, whether better or worse.  Focus on what’s in front of you.  Good meals are more thoroughly enjoyed this way, and lousy meals can yield their own useful information (“I’ll never cook that way again”).  It’s also more polite, to food and cook alike.Miles P. Finley
  20. “When drinking tea, just drink tea.”  I find this Zen teaching useful, given my inclination toward information absorption in the morning, when I’m also trying to eat breakfast, get the dog out, start the fire and organize my day.  I believe that it’s so much better for our bodies when we are present to our food.  Perhaps a bit of mindfulness goes a long way first thing in the morning.  (Of course, some time ago, I came across a humorous anecdote about a hapless Zen student whose teacher taught him this aphorism and then was discovered by the same student, drinking tea and reading the paper.  When confronted, the teacher said, “When drinking tea and reading the paper, just drink tea and read the paper!”)Michelle Poirot
From readers of food writer Michael Pollan at the New York Times