Saturday, February 03, 2007

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

A recent article in the NY Times (registration may be required) started off with this single line:

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Brilliant stuff. Why? Because, even though the article went on for twelve (twelve!) pages, it summarizes what the author is trying to state about what people should eat for maximum health. If you don't get it from that line, the author explains everything you need to know in the first paragraph:

  • Eat food. Real food, whole food. Not prepared foods. Not processed foods. Not fortified foods.
  • Not too much. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Mostly plants. Meat should be approached more as a side dish than a centerpiece.
I will probably remember that line for the rest of my life, and even attempt to put it in practice. (We generally don't do too badly in our house, but there's certainly room for improvement.)

Why is this line so important to me? Because, as a marketer, it is the holy grail of messaging, the simple, instantly memorable phrase that says everything that's important, and nothing else. It is a remarkably difficult thing to achieve.

It is now inserted into my personal lexicon of aphorisms, right next to "Bears get rich. Bulls get rich. Pigs go broke."
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