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What to Eat by Marion Nestle

What to Eat

by Marion Nestle

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I learned that Doritos are the devil's plaything. :) ( )
  AlisonLea | Jan 10, 2015 |
nteresting but equivocal. A tour of the supermarket with a nutritionist who mostly advises that you do the research and decide for yourself. Worth a read, especially for foodies. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
A frustrating book. The title is "What to Eat," but the content is more like "how the commercial food supply chain works." The introduction tells about how people come to the author confused about what to eat and looking for simplicity and clarity. This is followed by 600 pages that reads like an infodump of the author's research, focusing on controversial and unresolved issues, with remarkably little clarity. The introduction also complains about how there is in general too much focus on health benefits of individual ingredients, versus healthy, varied, overall diets, and the rest of the book then talks about ingredients one at a time. The author harps constantly on how stores and producers are trying to get you to spend more money on food (gee whiz, really?). Which is not really wrong, but doesn't actually help you figure out "What to Eat."

The concluding chapter focuses mostly on what industry is doing now, and what industry could do to improve our eating situation, which puts things into perspective. This is not a consumer guide; it's a long essay about how the food industry works and ought to work, in which context it's an OK book, I guess, but the title and cover are completely wrong for the book.

I admit to skimming a lot, but the book also does not appear to cover farmer's markets, CSAs, ethnic/speciality groceries, gardening, online ordering, etc., adding to the impression that it is a polemic against commercial food rather than an actual guide to how to eat well. ( )
  Pengale | Oct 24, 2012 |
Not really what I was expecting. What To Eat spends equal time discussing what's on a food label and the politics of why as well as the actual nutritional values of foods. The author has a fairly heavy anti-government slant and I found it rather tiresome after a while. I was hoping for more a straightforward discussion of nutrition in "real life" products from a more objective point of view. ( )
  chrisweiss | Feb 16, 2012 |
a must-read. an in-depth look into the reasons why foods are sold as they are, whether they are really healthy, and the determiners of price and availability. An eye-opening account into food trade organizations and their command over the politicians who pass laws about what is healthy and which foods (farmers) are subsidized by the government. It's scary once you start to realize that the biggest food companies and trade organizations are the ones who are able to pay politicians enough in order to keep their prices down, and to keep the public in the dark. ( )
2 vote jonpgorman | Feb 24, 2011 |
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I am a nutrition professor, and as soon as people find out what I do, they ask: Why is nutrition so confusing?
The basic principles of good diets are so simple that I can summarize them in just ten words: eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. For additional clarification, a five word modifier helps: go easy on junk foods.
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Discusses how food industry affects our eating habits and discourages healthy eating. Provides strategies for developing shopping habits that provide healthier food choices.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0865477388, Paperback)

How do we choose what to eat? Buffeted by health claims--should we, for example, restrict our intake of carbs or fats or both? Is organic food better for us?--we become confused and tune out. In supermarkets we buy semi-consciously, unaware that our choices are carefully orchestrated by sophisticated marketing strategies concerned only with the bottom line. That we should confront such persuasion is the major point made by nutritionist-consumer advocate Marion Nestle in her extraordinary What to Eat, an aisle-by-aisle guide to supermarket buying and thus an anatomy of American food business. "The way food is situated in today's society discourages healthful food choices," Nestle tells us, a fact that finds literal representation in our supermarkets, where food placement--dependant on "slotting fees," guaranteed advertising and other incentives--determines every purchase we make.

Nestle walks readers through every supermarket section--produce, meat, fish, dairy, packaged foods, bottled waters, and more--decoding labels and clarifying nutritional and other claims (in supermarket-speak, for example, "fresh" means most likely to spoil first, not recently picked or prepared), and in so doing explores issues like the effects of food production on our environment, the way pricing works, and additives and their effect on nutrition.

What Nestle reveals is both discouraging and empowering. Through ubiquitous advertising, almost universal food availability, the growth of portion size, and unchecked marketing to kids, we’re encouraged to eat more than we need, with consequent negative impact on our health. Knowledge is indeed power, and Nestle's lively, witty, and thoroughly enlightening book--the work, readers quickly see, of a food lover intent on increasing sensual satisfaction at table as well as promoting health--will help its readers become completely cognizant about food shopping. It's a must for anyone who eats and buys food and wants to do both better. --Arthur Boehm

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

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From publisher description: With What to Eat, this renowned nutritionist takes us on a guided tour of the supermarket, explaining the issues with verve and wit as well as a scientist's expertise and a food lover's experience. Today's supermarket is ground zero for the food industry, a place where the giants of agribusiness compete for sales with profits, not nutrition or health, in mind. Nestle walks us through the supermarket, section by section: produce, dairy, meat, fish, packaged foods, breads, juices, bottled waters, and more. Along the way, she untangles the issues, decodes the labels, clarifies the health claims, and debunks the sales hype. She tells us how to make sensible choices based on freshness, taste, nutrition, health, effects on the environment, and, of course, price. With Nestle as our guide, we learn what it takes to make wise food choices and are inspired to act with confidence on that knowledge. What to Eat is the guide to healthy eating today: comprehensive, provocative, revealing, rich in common sense, informative, and a pleasure to read.… (more)

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