Robbins's Diet for a New America (1987) was one of those virtuous guides to alternative eating that said nothing much new but somehow caught on: The publishers claim 350,000 copies in print. Here, Robbins conveys the same message—that meat and dairy production are bad for the world's hungry as well as for consumers' physical and spiritual health—in the same punchy manner, replete with preachy homilies, arresting statistics, and quotes from both medical authorities and other popular writers. Except perhaps for his strong argument that drinking milk doesn't prevent bone loss, this is familiar stuff to any casual reader of the genre; but there's no denying Robbins's success at predigesting the studies and sermons for new converts. The recipes are also in the unsophisticated natural-food mode: There's one for ``Italian'' rice croquettes that uses brown rice, tofu, and soy sauce, and there are lots of sugar-free desserts that put heavy demands on maple syrup. They won't convert advanced foodies, but they'll do fine with Robbins's following.
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