Wheat in hand. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.


Yesterday the Washington Post published my article “No Food is Healthy, Not Even Kale.”



Don’t forget to join me online for this Wednesday’s Free Range chat at noon EST at live.washingtonpost.com.



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© 2016 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2016 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


13 Wonderful responses to “On “Healthy” Food”

  • Colleen

    Loved your article in The Washington Post. I have been a chef for quite some time and have been screaming the same words, that you write about……….
    On a side note:
    I met you several years ago, in Lincolnville, Maine at Erik Scott’s mother’s house. It was a dinner party. Lobster was the main course……..naturally!

  • Becky

    Thank you for your article in the Washington Post. I recently began to change the way I eat to improve my health. I was making the common mistake of saying that I was going to start eating heathy and buying healthy foods. Now I realize I need to be smart and know what I’m buying when I buy nutritious foods. Thank you!

  • Paul Kobulnicky

    My wife and I were talking about your final paragraph and the use of “stupid”. She told me that she over heard two clerks at a local store talking about trying and failing to make cookies without burning them. We then talked about how people are so lacking basic knowledge about food and cooking that they are unable to grasp even the most basic concepts or solve the most simple problems. And, with each generation unable to teach the next the problem gets worse.

  • Andrew Vaino

    Outstanding commentary! It’s amazing how little people THINK about what they eat. My own personal bugaboo, as an organic chemIst, is overuse of the term ‘organic’. Coal is organic, but I doubt people will jump to eat it. Words do matter, and I wish more people would take them seriously.

    • Victoria

      It would be good if people knew what the definition of organic is. The amazing thing is that people use the word all the time without knowing the actual meaning. Do you imagine that people use the terms trans-fat all the time without taking the trouble to find out what it means?

  • Ally @OmNomAlly

    The Washington Post article was a fabulous read, it’s amazing how little a lot of people think about what they eat or why it’s ‘healthy’.
    I personally am reminded of the Health Star rating system adopted by some food companies here in Australia where more ‘stars’ are awarded to foods based on their macronutrient content, particularly for arbitrary levels of fat, protein or carbohydrates (including sugar or fibre) that is considered ‘healthy’. For example a (almost plastic-like) margarine gets about 4-5 stars, while butter has 1-2. A low-fat yoghurt has more stars than a natural yoghurt. A muesli bar with artificial sweeteners has more stars than a higher ‘sugar’ fruit bar. It’s madness.
    I agree with Andrew regarding the term ‘organic’. We need a new term for ‘organic’, as when working in a health food store it’s very frustrating having to try to explain why ‘organic farming’ and ‘organic compounds’ in supplements are not the same thing.

  • Katie

    You’re doing nothing to diminish the seemingly neverending crush I have on you — more specifically, I suppose, on your words.

    Simple, clear, irrefutable logic — you are a sane and cogent voice in a cacophony of all-natural, organic, yet misinformed and uneducated utter bullshit.

    Thank you.

    (I’m going to use “Fat isn’t bad; stupid is bad” as often as I can work it into a conversation)

  • Tom

    There is a lot of confusion about human nutrition because the “science” has sucked for so long. Respectfully, I think your article kind of reflects that. Have you read Taubes or Teicholz? Highly recommended.

    Personally, I would like high quality research to be part of a presidential candidate’s set of priorities because it is so fundamental to public health.

  • Alex

    I sent you an email. Pork rinds are not the great protein snack you claim in the article. If you read any label you would see that they are not a signifanct source of protein. This is because they are lacking adequate amounts of certain essential amino acids. Regardless, they are delicious especially with Tabasco.

    • Anna

      Michael will have to speak for himself, but perhaps the purpose of his pork rind quib was to ironicly illustrate how wrongly we can think about certain food products, i.e. that we should avoid pork rinds because they are “fatty.”

      Also, nuts and seeds, touted as a “healthful” “protein” boost, do not contain all 9 amino acids and therefore aren’t complete proteins, yet many believe that eating a handful will give them the protein they need. So I think Michael’s overall point was summed up near the end of the essay: “Just be aware…know what it is you’re putting in your body and why.”

      • Joan | HappyForks.com

        I would like to write more about protein in seeds- the nice exception is sesame which is rich in many amino acids , including all exogenous . This is an important supplement in the diet of vegetarians and vegans , very tasty and it’s easy to put it in to salads , desserts and spreads.
        If someone don’t eat meat it’s important to eat legumes, cereals, nuts or seeds in one meal- all together, in one meal, they are good source of complete proteins

  • Subbareddy

    Eating for a healthy heart means filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, paying attention to fiber, eating fish a couple times a week and limiting unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats, as well as salt. And although no single food is a cure-all, certain foods have been shown to improve your heart health. Find out how these 15 foods may help lower your risk of heart disease.


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