An exhaustive and informative guide to the intricacies of America’s food.

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The Great American Food Fight

WINNING THE BATTLE FOR YOUR FAMILY'S HEALTH

A diet and nutrition book exposes how the food industry victimizes the U.S. consumer.

The U.S. is one of the fattest and sickest nations on Earth. While Baldasare (The Nutrition Cure, 2015, etc.) once viewed Americans’ malnutrition as a problem of poor personal choices, he now realizes it is actually a more systemic issue. “The truth is that far too many of our food choices are made for us, not by us,” he writes. “The struggle to eat healthily…has become a battle in which many powerful forces are aligned against us.” The aims of this book are twofold. The first is to reveal the ways in which the food industry and its lobbyists have actively misled the public to serve their own needs, suppressing scientific research and waging a campaign of nutritional misinformation. The second is to inform consumers as to what foods and ingredients they are actually eating and how to cut through the cultural noise to locate sources of real nutrition. Divided into brief sections, many less than a page, the book tackles the myriad topics that constitute the current diet debate: from the diseases that most affect the American public to strategies employed by the food industry to sell products (including packaging, qualified and unqualified health claims, ecology and ethics labels, and plastic coding) to breakdowns of the additives, fats, pesticides, and other specifics for each food group. The author concludes with the current state of food activism and provides an appendix of useful charts documenting everything from types of food coloring to sources of gluten. For Baldasare, an informed public remains the best chance at fixing the food system, and he offers an impressive amount of information. Writing in a clear, practical prose aimed at the general reader, the author approaches each topic with candor and occasional humor (“Got milk? If you’re a US citizen, your government certainly hopes so”). The book’s encyclopedic nature lends itself more to discretionary browsing than to proceeding straight through, but readers of all lifestyles should learn troubling and helpful facts about the food they eat.

An exhaustive and informative guide to the intricacies of America’s food.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 278

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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