The Great-Great-Grandmother Diet

May 8, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

“In Defense of Food” starts out with three rules – Eat Food.  Not Too Much.  Mostly Plants.  I’m going to be trying to follow his guidelines, but in order to prevent information overload and allow me to be a little more in depth on each guideline.  The first:

*Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.

For a long time, I’ve felt that American recipes, under the guise of “foodieness” have gotten WAY too complex.  And it includes ingredients that are exceptionally processed.  Michael Pollan talks about imagine taking your great-great-grandma to the grocery store.  If she would ask you what a product is … you shouldn’t be eating it.  For example – would grandma recognise non-dairy creamer?  Or tri-color pasta, or spaghetti-os?

For me, this rule will definitely involve a lot more cooking – and the purchasing of the relatively non-processed foods around the outside of the grocery store.  Meats, dairy, fruits and veggies.  I don’t know what grandma would think of Hamburger Helper.  🙂



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  1. I’ve heard of this book. However, for me some of the things my grandmother did like using bacon grease for everything (can of it always on the stove) kind of grosses me out. LOL 🙂

  2. I know that using grease or whatever is a kind of gross concept (and I’m not sure I can bring myself to keep the lard can on the stove, either. LOL) However, compared to some of the chemicals that we eat every day and call “food” … perhaps bacon grease isn’t so bad.

  3. Oddly, my grandma’s would probably recognize most of those things you listed. They just seemed up on that sort of thing. But I can see the point. I think I might have to think in terms of my Great gma though.

    And apparently margarine is one molecule different than some forms of plastic. Eww.

  4. As Joan Gussow once said: “As for butter vs. margarine, I trust cows more than chemists!”

  5. That is such a great point and idea! I think that I will try and follow the great grandmother rule from now on! It’ll be hard but making an attempt is better than nothing! Love your blog!

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