A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 01, 2018
“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”

"Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” is a saying that has been printed on many images. American author Michael Pollan said this in an interview with the Washington (DC) Post published on June 28, 2006. The saying later appeared in his books.

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” means that natural, simple food—food that is not processed with many chemical additives—is better for you.


Wikipedia: Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan /ˈpɒlən/ is an American author, journalist, activist, and the Lewis K. Chan Arts Lecturer and Professor of Practice of Non-Fiction at Harvard University. Pollan is also professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

28 June 2006, Washington (DC) Post, “Q&A | Michael Pollan; Think Global, Eat Local” with Judith Weinraub, pg. F1:
Q.: But buying everything at farmers markets isn’t realistic for most people. So what specific advice can you give supermarket shoppers?
A.: Read the labels. And don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

5 October 2006, McClatchy-Tribune Business News, “It’s all about the food: The grow-local trend has strong roots in this region, author Michael Pollan says” by Joe Miller:
More specifically, he adds: “Don’t eat anything your great-great- grandma wouldn’t recognize as food. Avoid foods with health claims bannered across them. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup—it’s highly processed. And don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients.”

MichaelPollan.com
Just eat what your great-grandma ate
By Charles Matthews
San Francisco Chronicle, December 30, 2007
(...)
“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,” he advises. This needs a bit more explanation. After all, many of our great-grandmothers weren’t exposed to the great multicultural bounty we find in stores and restaurants, so a lot of them wouldn’t recognize some perfectly wholesome stuff as edible. Calamari, for example, or tofu..
(...)
But Pollan’s point is this: Great-Grandmother never cooked with guar gum, carrageenan, mono- and diglycerides, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, modified food starch, soy lecithin and any number of other ingredients found in processed food. She would never eat cotton, but cottonseed oil is commonplace in all sorts of the “edible foodlike substances” found in supermarkets today.

Google Books
In Defense of Food:
An Eater’s Manifesto

By Michael Pollan
New York, NY: The Penguin Press
2008
Pg. 148:
DON’T EAT ANYTHING YOUR GREAT GRANDMOTHER WOULDN’T RECOGNIZE AS FOOD.
Why your great grandmother? Because at this point your mother and possibly even your grandmother is as confused as the rest of us; to be safe we need to go back at least a couple of generations, to a time before the advent of most modern foods.

Google Books
Food Rules:
An Eater’s Manual

By Michael Pollan
New York, NY: Penguin Books
2009
Pg. 7:
Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, November 01, 2018 • Permalink