Informative, pragmatic responses about what, why, and how we eat.



A noted nutritionist critiques the "industry-driven food environment."

Author and food columnist Nestle, emerita professor of food studies and public health at NYU, joins with environmental advocate Trueman in a broad consideration of food policy, consumption, and sustainability. “Food is political,” Nestle asserts, connecting issues such as obesity, hunger, food safety, and climate change to governmental food policy, industry lobbying, and inequality. Using a question-and-answer format, Trueman elicits Nestle’s responses on the relationship of food to illness, choice of one diet (low-carb, for example) over another, the need for supplements, and the benefits of fake meats. Nestle points out the difficulty of studying what people eat: The best that studies can do, she says, is to “show some kind of association or link between what you ate and the likelihood—your risk—of developing a disease. They cannot prove that what you ate caused a disease.” As for trendy diets, she advocates eating in moderation, choosing plants over meats, and avoiding the supersized portions that the food industry promotes. She admits “discomfort about using ‘addiction’ to describe loving relationships to food. We can’t live without eating. Food is delicious.” Marketing, not scientific evidence, has created a demand for supplements and so-called “superfoods.” Although she has tried manufactured foods, Nestle questions their processed ingredients and finds “technological approaches, no matter how entertaining or potentially useful,” a distraction from addressing problems inherent in the food industry. Decrying the lack of a “committed food safety culture” that would prevent food-borne illnesses, Nestle notes that in the U.S., responsibility for food policies is fragmented among too many agencies, making progress and oversight impossible. Because food advocacy is a global issue, she urges readers to become involved: “pick the problem you want to address, find a group working on that issue, and join it.”

Informative, pragmatic responses about what, why, and how we eat.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-520-34323-8

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Univ. of California

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.


The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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