Limerick version of In Defense of Food

This poem is inspired by Michael Pollan’s PBS documentary In Defense of Food, available here for free viewing until the end of the month:
The wisdom Michael Pollan incants–
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants—
Is simple declared
Yet we’re easily ensnared
By the food industry’s science-y dance.
So here are some other wise rules
That Pollan provides as tools
To help navigate
Pseudo-research-y bait
Including that from some prominent schools.
First, avoid what would seem unreal
To your great grandma as a true meal
Those with ingredients covert
Like Ho-Ho’s and Go-Gurt–
Food “products” that over make us keel.
Next, avoid added forms of fructose
It’s in many things—often high-dose
Such as soda and chips,
Fat-free yogurt, pretzel sticks,
Even “healthy” instant cups of oats!
Third, avoid the lure of foods that are cheap
These bargains cause our waistlines to creep
Buying lower quality fare
Costs us more on healthcare
And can hurt our planet’s upkeep.
Fourth, avoid health claims on the label
Whole Grain Lucky Charms are a fable
In fact, the healthiest (the plants)
Lack all label-based rants
Like “natural” and other finagles.
Last: buy local, in-season when you can
Or grow your own—what a plan!
At home, cook and enjoy
Sharing meals brings more joy
And may even increase your lifespan!
Check out my other medical verse here.



Published by Marion Sills

I am a Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado. I work as a physician in the emergency departments of the Children's Hospital of Colorado and as a health services researcher at the University's Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes (ACCORDS).

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