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.