Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman



The government and a committee of docs and PhD’s and other really smart people are reversing two generations of recommendations on how you and your family should eat. It’s OK to eat eggs. They’re not a silent killer. The news arrived last week. This opinion piece on what the new guidelines mean is particularly good (by Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet—how did I miss this?! A girl after my own heart; think she’ll join me in my quest to make July national Butter-Is-a-Vegetable Month?).



Look at these delicious dishes above, all photos of the egg by Donna, featured in my love song to the egg (I especially love the sun-like yolk at top). For two generations we were told that eggs, a miracle of economy, nutrition, utility, and deliciousness in the kitchen were suspect. Were bad for you. And yet Corn Flakes, milled corn and sugar, were embraced as part of a good-for-you breakfast. Along with sugar-laden granola bars, and Go-Gurts for the kids.

Should we listen to our government experts now? Yes? Why? Suddenly they know what the fuck they’re talking about? What changed? Why did it take forty years? Forty! I think they owe us an apology first, and then they need to admit that no one really knows anything for sure. They’re still using the harmful phrase, “help people to eat healthy.”

Doc Roxanne has it right: Eating healthy is idiotic. “We are healthy if we eat nutritious food.”

Who then to listen to? Yourself, your own body, and common sense. Everyone is different. If we cook our own food, if that food is whole, as opposed to being stripped of nutrients to make it cheap, then you can pretty much eat what you want.

I have news for you: You’re gonna die. Stop treating food as if it’s medicine and you might just be able to enjoy life before the inevitable catastrophe that awaits us all.

If you liked this post, check out these other links:

© 2015 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2015 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


32 Wonderful responses to “Is the Government Right This Time?”

  • Michael Trippe


    On a side note… now I’m hungry. Off to make some eggs…

    Cheers !!

    • Marc Barringer

      Make me some too. The kids used up what was on hand when they got up. (Downside to having kids who cook- they use stuff up.)

  • Marc Barringer

    So, eat real food (not too much), eat some of everything, avoid most things that come in a box, bag or drive-thru (most of the time), pay ATTENTION to what you are eating, and you will do fine nutritionally. And probably financially.

  • bruce saunders

    Some of us never bought into their anti-egg/fat/meat advice in the first place.

  • Ina pinkney

    While I never stopped eating eggs, I always worried about their safety and my concerns were validated in the giant egg recall. I began eating only pasteurized eggs years before that recall and served them in my restaurant as well. Want them poached soft or sunny side up? No problem. They’re safe!

  • Dave Simonson

    Trust what government experts say? Not really. It isn’t just them, of course. The bandwagon is full of well intentioned, incorrect people. Moderation is a key, and, as you point out, we all die. Keeping that in mind helps to gain perspective.

  • Amy

    We all are allowed to change our opinions based on new information…(ask me about excesses of rum on Sunday nights and my opinion of same now versus 20 years ago…)

    I agree that 40 years is a really long time, probably longer than it should have been, but at least it’s coming out.

    (et coucou à Chef Gui – nous parlé à la soirée pour l’Hermione…)

  • Liz Schmitt

    I lost 30 pounds almost 2 years ago eating this kind of diet – and, importantly, have kept if off sticking with the same kind of diet.

  • Kathy Turk

    Thank you for bringing this discussion back again. I never bought into the silliness of lowering such good fats and those lovely eggs. Gorgeous photos, Donna!

  • Kathy S.

    I am ALL ABOUT eggs for people who tolerate them, and I recommend them whole-heartedly to my health coaching clients, but please tell me I’m not the only cynical soul who wonders if these new recommendations have more to do with the egg lobby than they do with any nutritional epiphanies? It would be interesting to dig a bit and find out whether the egg lobby has suddenly gotten a new director or a bunch of money or whatever it is that helps big ag lobbies operate.

  • Bob

    Whenever the government tells you what to do, or worse, not do — they are wrong.

    Now to go enjoy a big fat Cuban cigar and some nice sipping Rum. Life is good – But God is Great.

  • frieda

    I think that we have a serious problem.
    Our bodies were trained into not trusting its intuative feelings.somehow we must start listening to our cravings and within reason go back to eating all foods that are desired (as long as they aren’t on the junk food lisT)
    A nutritous food diet is a diet where one can eat everything in moderation. I believe we will learn that today’s cravings aren’t for the food we supposedly eat but for those healthy but denied eggs,cheese, butterand meat, etc

  • Dane

    I agree listen to your body, it knows what it needs most of the time. Eliminated processed foods 20 years ago and went back to cooking with the basic fresh building blocks.

    You wonder why the government can’t do anything correctly? The government is made up of elected people, who have the money to get elected, not because they are good leaders or really smart, no mostly they have money. Case in point have a look at what Rep. Vito Barbieri stated yesterday. These are the same folk that would like to tell you what food is safe.

  • Tags

    Sure, we should listen to the government about food; when President Michael Pollan or President Dan Barber gives a speech.

  • E. Nassar

    Apparently you could also greatly reduce the risk of peanut allergy by actually feeding kids peanuts according to the latest findings by a “revolutionary study”. Wow. Who knew? (yes I am being about stating the damn obvious!)

  • Jeannie

    I have always thought eggs are one of the wonder foods, so much nutrition going on for one food source. Speaking of which, I use Ruhlman’s Twenty all the time, I need to finally buy Egg as well!

  • AJGSyc

    Michael Pollan seems on board with the new guidelines, and I’d definitely put more stock in his view than Nina Teicholz. I agree with the thrust of your argument, Mr. Ruhlman, but don’t be too quick to dismiss the new guidelines. Besides, it’s not the panel’s report that will be problematic, but rather the way in which lobbyists will succeed in putting the recommendations through their meat grinder that leads to white washed recommendations.

  • Ed Arnold

    Unfortunately, the “government experts” listened to the bumbling American medical establishment and toxic Big Agribusiness.

  • Mighty Casey

    Ohmigawd, I love you.

    The food and pharma lobbies (farm vs. pharm = 100% toxicity risk?) together have poisoned us so effectively over the last century and a half that our ability to recognize real food’s been compromised almost beyond measure.

    Me? I’d rather make friends with some farmers, and buy from them. Luckily, I live in a locavore-ag state …

  • asli

    “You’re gonna die. Stop treating food as if it’s medicine and you might just be able to enjoy life before the inevitable catastrophe that awaits us all.” Well put.

  • Darya

    I totally agree with all of your sentiments here, but as a scientist I feel obligated to warn you that Teicholz’s book isn’t based in any better science than the original dietary guidelines. (exhibit A:

    As you alluded to, the only thing we really know about nutrition is that humans were a helluva lot better off before the introduction of processed foods. Fortunately we don’t need to understand WHY in order to avoid them.

  • Robert

    Love it! Particularly frustrated at people who only use portions of food and chuck the “unhealthy” part. If you’re gonna eat an egg, eat the egg! Stop picking at that chickens skin! All about balance though, forget substitutions.

  • Kevin

    This is one of those areas where correlation does not equal causality. A lot of these old studies, are really just a correlation of data to find a cause and effect.

    Science is just about guessing (research). (Guessing REALLY good, but guessing, just the same) and then backing that guess up with experiments.

    Data mining this old research can return some very valuable insights, but then we have to be diligent in testing out those insights.

  • Mary Norris

    I just finished reading your egg book – excellent writing, lots of good info. And you’ve got common sense, no longer as common as it used to be! Very cool. Donna’s pix were wonderful, especially the “stop-action” ones where the salt is visibly falling off the spoon, or the stage of egg white whisking is just right for adding the next ingredient. Awesome book!


  1.  A Cathedral of Food | Michael Ruhlman
  2.  The Government Says we can eat eggs now! Hell Yeah! | Everyday Strong
  3.  Opening of Heinen’s | Michael Ruhlman
  4.  Cook Your Own Food. Eat What You Want | Michael Ruhlman
  5.  How To Cure Corned Beef | Michael Ruhlman