Anymore, what exactly qualifies as food, and what is a “food-like product”? Some helpful rules of thumb:*
1. Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar, B) Unpronounceable, C) more than five in number, or that included D) high-fructose corn syrup.
2. Avoid food products that make health claims.
3. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
4. Get out of the supermarket whenever possible.
– Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food, pp. 147-161.
* “The earliest citation comes from Sir William Hope’s The Compleat Fencing-Master, second edition, 1692, page 157: “What he doth, he doth by rule of thumb, and not by art.” The term is thought to originate with wood workers who used the length of their thumbs rather than rulers for measuring things, cementing its modern use as an inaccurate, but reliable and convenient standard.”