The great food writer Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire, the Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, has gained a passionate following by encouraging us to change the way we think about, purchase and consume food.

Now he’s asking for help with his new project — one part cultural history, one part cook-book, one part nutritional guide. His operating premise, as he writes on Well, Tara Parker Pope’s health blog at the NYTimes.com, “is that culture has a lot to teach us about how to choose, prepare and eat food, and that this wisdom is worth collecting and preserving before it disappears.”

So he’s looking to collect the food wisdom bequeathed to us by our ancestors in an effort to create a compendium of universal rules, across cultures and also time. “‘Eat your colors,’ an Australian reader’s grandmother used to tell her; now we hear the same advice from nutritionists, citing the value of including as many different phytochemicals in the diet as possible.”

Pollan is collecting tips like this at the Well blog. So far he’s racked up 1,358 comments on the post since yesterday morning.

I like these two:

• “Eat a food in inverse proportion to how much its lobby spends to push it.”

• “Get your nutrition from food, not pills.”

Click here to add your own food rules. Pollan is planning to publish them on his website and collect a sampling in his next book.