What to Eat: Book summary and reviews of What to Eat by Marion Nestle

What to Eat

By Marion Nestle

What to Eat
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  • Published in USA  May 2006,
    624 pages.

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Book Summary

How do we decide what foods to eat? In recent years, this simple question has become complicated beyond belief—as supermarkets have grown to warehouse size, and as the old advice to eat foods from four food groups has been overrun by questions about organic foods, hormones, pesticides, carbohydrates, trans fats, omega-3s, supplements, health claims, extreme diets, and, above all, obesity.

Fortunately, Marion Nestle is here to tell us what’s what—to give us the facts we need to make sensible choices from the bewildering array of foods available to us. 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Her intelligent and reassuring approach will likely make readers venture more confidently through the jungle of today's super-sized stores." - Marion Nestle.

"The industry wants you to believe there are no good foods or bad foods. Well, that's not true. And I can't think of anyone who knows the difference better than Marion Nestle." - Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation.

"When it comes to the increasingly treacherous landscape of the American supermarket, with its marketing hype and competing health claims, Marion Nestle is an absolutely indispensable guide: knowledgeable, eminently sane--and wonderful company, too." - Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma.

"[This] book is for anyone who has read a food label; been annoyed at how often their children nag them for certain cereals; wondered about the difference between natural and organic; or questioned who is minding the store when it comes to nutrition and food safety." - The New York Times.

"Nestle is simply one of the nation's smartest and most influential authorities on nutrition and food policy." - The San Francisco Chronicle

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Author Information

Marion Nestle Author Biography

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003.  She is also Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell.  She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition from University of California, Berkeley.  Previous faculty positions were at Brandeis University and the UCSF School of Medicine. 

From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and editor of The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health.  Her research examines scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice, obesity, and food safety, ...

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Name Pronunciation
Marion Nestle: Last name is pronounced like the verb to nestle, not like the Swiss food company

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