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Last month we asked you, the Slow Food network, for contributions towards Michael Pollan’s next edition of Food Rules, to be illustrated by Maira Kalman. From the thousands of replies we received, Pollan picked 3. His picks are below.

Many thanks for the outpouring of food wisdom. More than 4,000 of you answered my request for your personal food rules—truly overwhelming, and enormously helpful as I sit down to complete the new illustrated edition of Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.

After sifting through all of the submissions, I’ve decided to include these three excellent rules:

Place a bouquet on the table and everything will taste twice as good. – Gisbert P. Auwaerter, Cutchogue, NY

Love your spices. They add richness and depth to food without salt. – Claire Cheney, Jamaica Plain, MA

When you eat real food, you don’t need rules. – Mandy Gerth

Not only is there real wisdom in these words, but it seems to me the ideas here beautifully reflect the values of Slow Food. I’m grateful to have them in the book. The winners will each receive a copy signed by both me and Maira Kalman, when it is published in November.

There were many other interesting and provocative rules, though some of them were less useful or scientifically verifiable than entertaining. Three of my favorites:

Eat Pringles only with diet soda.

The French fries you pick off someone else’s plate carry no calories.

White bread is only good for picking up glass or cleaning typewriter keys.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you for engaging in this conversation. Your contributions vindicated the premise of both the book and of Slow Food, which is that the conversation of culture has more to teach us about how to eat healthily and happily than all the nutritional studies, government advisories, and food industry promises.

Yours truly,

Michael Pollan