Friday, February 13, 2009

What We're Reading: Food Matters

Food Matters by Mark Bittman is a quick (and, dare I say, essential) read for anyone who eats food. Since you probably qualify, I would highly recommend you check it out. Many of the facts and figures presented here will shock you, hopefully into action. This is not a diet. It's a new way of approaching food - one that is good for the planet and also the waistline. He goes into some detail about the livestock industry in particular. While he does not advocate a switch to vegetarianism necessarily, he brings up the point that we cannot maintain our current demand of red meat for very long. It is insanely bad for the environment and arguably worse than driving around in a gas guzzler. He encourages even small changes, though more is better - from refined carbs (generally no better than sugar) to whole grains, making plants a priority (as your daily supplement doesn't have all those micronutrients), and avoiding most foods with more than one ingredient (the majority of packaged foods). This is much the same philosophy of Michael Pollan - "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He actually references Pollan quite a bit, so you'll get even more out of the book if you start by reading In Defense of Food, which is available in regular and large print versions and also audiobook at our library. One thing this book has, that the Pollan book does not, is recipes! They sound lovely - I am definitely going to have to buy the book.

This isn't important, really, but am I the only one who notices the similarities between this cover and the Freakonomics cover? Hmm. It's probably a wise choice of design.

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