We love mantras, maxims, proverbs, manifestos, mottos anything that packs big ideas in a few words. We’ve always been fascinated by food mantras. These are like personal policies or a set of rules that are designed to help you intentionally decide your approach to food. Remembering to eat mindfully can be difficult. Food mantras help us pay attention to what we eat and how much, and appreciate all it has to offer us.
We’ve gathered a variety of food mantras that highlight the values and priorities about food from influential individuals and companies in the food world. What is your food mantra? Do any of these resonate with your values related to food and eating?
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan
This mantra comes from Pollan’s book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2009). Follow a diet that consists of real food, defends Pollan, food that comes not from a can, bag, or box. Shop at the farmer’s market or the perimeter in a supermarket and you’re already mostly on your way to a healthier plate.
Love Pollan’s ideas? Read his follow-up book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2009) that unpacks his manifesto into a short book featuring 64 food rules.
“Do the kind thing for your body, your taste buds & your world” – KIND
KIND makes wholesome snacks, bars, and granola with “ingredients you can see & pronounce.” You may be familiar with KIND bars, made with whole nuts like whole almonds, cashews, and pecans, mixed with fruits and spices. Like the company’s name, kindness applies to all areas of your life: your health, your taste, and your community.
Want stories, tips, and recipes for a healthier lifestyle? Follow KIND on Medium
“The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine.” – Hippocrates
Hippocrates, a Classical Greek physician, was perhaps one of the earliest to recognize the scientific connection between food as a source of medicine. Healthy eating is often the number one cure for a strong, healthy body. Choosing nutritious foods that offer good value to your body helps you enjoy health, the “greatest” of human blessings.
“Nourish People and Planet with Plant-Powered Passion.” – Kashi
Kashi makes its whole grain cereals and other plant-based foods, such as crackers, waffles, and entrees with “simple wholesome ingredients—and everything we believe.” The company’s food philosophy indicates a plants-first mindset by being mindful of sustainable and ethical farming practices. The mantra shows Kashi’s drive to give, from the source, the planet, all the way to the consumer, the people. Values such as generosity, innovation, and dedication guide the company’s actions, from where it sources its food to product development to distribution.
“A party without cake is just a meeting.” – Julia Child
Julia Child has many wonderful (and funny) food mantras, but this is one of our favorites. Food is central to making an occasion memorable, social, and fun. Food has a powerful way of connecting people.
“Ethnic cooking is just dinner somewhere else in the world, and we invite the cooks of the world to sit at the same table.” – Christopher Kimball, founder and director of Milk Street
The motto of Milk Street, the Boston-based food magazine, cooking school, radio show, television, and cookbook brand, articulates an inclusiveness created in and around food. There is no insider or outsider, no possessiveness over recipes and food traditions; rather, “this is a culinary—not cultural—exchange,” claims Kimball. The commitment to teaching and learning is fostered in the company’s tireless research and recipe testings.
Watch how making a rustic Tangerine-Almond Cake with Bay Syrup can “change your life.”
“Good, clean, and fair.” – Slow Food
Slow Food is a food activist nonprofit organization founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy. The red snail logo captures the mission of the organization which is to counteract the effects of fast food and fast life. But, the organization is anything but ‘slug’-ish in its dedication to preserving food traditions. Since its beginning in 1986, Slow Food has spread worldwide to over 150 countries, including Slow Food USA. Good means high-quality ingredients, clean meaning production doesn’t harm the environment, and fair in support of a mutually beneficial exchange between consumers and producers.
Food mantras are not just about dieting and phrases to repeat to strengthen willpower. Food mantras are a part of your code of values. So inside every wrapper, bag, and box, remember that it is not just food, but a food philosophy.