Book Review: What to Eat

Book Review: What to Eat

Jonathan B.
Oct 31, 2007

Real advice from a real expert. You can't beat Marion Nestle's credentials: a lifetime achievement award from the James Beard foundation, former chair of the Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health department at NYU... not to mention author of several of our favorite books.

What to Eat is a no-nonsense guide to the supermarket. Confused about buying organic or conventional? There's an answer in this book, although it may not be clear cut. After all, it's food we're talking about. As Nestle reminds us, "surely the best reason to eat blueberries is that they are delicious in season."

We love learning things that make everyday life more meaningful. (For those of you who watched Project Runway, think about how you saw ordinary clothing in a different way: as hand-sewn crafts, rather than mass-produced objects.) Nestle's writing takes this to a higher level. "Natural," she points out, is essentially meaningless, yet it's all over the supermarket. She's careful to explore both sides of an issue: wild fish, she explains, is often laced with mercury from power plant emissions. But farmed fish is no panacea.

We didn't suggest What to Eat for our book club, because it's more of a how-to guide that you can read at your own pace. Nonetheless, we highly recommend it. Nestle has a sharp wit, with chapter titles like "Margarine: You Can Believe It's Not Butter. And her pragmatic way of reasoning is a shining example for all of us interested in green.

More resources:

Marion Nestle's Website
Listen to Marion Nestle interviewed on PRI's The Splendid Table (requires RealPlayer, or you can get a podcast through iTunes. The episode date is June 9, 2007.)
• And just for fun: a hilarious YouTube video from the Vicar of Dibley about someone who thinks it just might be butter after all.

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