Friday, June 26, 2009

Excellent Books Written By and For People Who Eat: Nestle, Pollan, Wansink and Kessler

I have been reading a lot lately. I read books from three different stacks, depending on the type of mood I'm in. Because I'm an early-morning person, I like to read the heavier, more detailed nutritionally-inclined books first thing in the morning with my breakfast while my brain is fresh and able to take in new information. Later in the day while I'm on a break, I'll pick up a book about world religions or micro-loans, both of which intrigue me greatly. By the end of the day, when I want to kick up my heels and relax, I'll pick up an entertaining fiction novel, or if I have the energy, I'll go back to something I read earlier in the day. I know there are reader types that have to stick to one book at a time and I've tried that, in an effort to start and finish one thing at a time. It never works out for me, because I end up not reading at all, especially if the book is full of a lot of factual details and I'm in a "quick read" kind of mood or place. I've tried taking books like Omnivore's Dilemma on vacation with me and it never gets read--and it's a wonderful book full of well-researched information. Perhaps a plane isn't the best place to test out my theory, because I've tried and usually end up falling asleep to the pleasant monotony of the plane engines.

All this to say that I have been reading a lot of excellent, important books lately. Below are books having to do with nutrition:

What To Eat, Marion Nestle (still reading)
All I have to say is INCREDIBLE! If you eat and care at all about what you eat, this is a must read. Would make an incredible book club read.

Food Politics, Marion Nestle (still reading)
The answer is in the title. Get an idea of how the food and beverage industries operate and how consumers are often left in the dark. It may raise your blood pressure, as the truth sometimes does.

The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan (almost finished)
Amazing insight into our food industry, the history of our food (think corn!) and where our food comes from, to say the least. It's an important book of our time.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, Michael Pollan (have not started yet)

Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink (finished)
"In this illuminating and groundbreaking new book, food psychologist Brian Wansink shows why you may not realize how much you’re eating, what you’re eating–or why you’re even eating at all." -amazon While reading this and munching on popcorn, I could not help but chuckle every time Wansink described someone and it basically described me!

The End of Overeating, David Kessler (haven't started yet) (if you click the link, scroll down and watch the video of Kessler)

Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, Walter Willett (finished)
Interesting book comparing the political USDA pyramid with Willett's own healthy eating pyramid, based on 40 years of research and science and accepted by Harvard's School of Nutrition. It's a fun, easy read and the more you read about food, the more common sense seems to play a major role in our food choices. An important book exposing why the USDA will not accept Willett's science-based pyramid.

I not only recommend picking up these books (library, amazon or book store) but I highly recommend that you research and read about the authors. Each author has an interesting story that might inspire you--I can't help but be inspired by these chamption nutrition advocates of our time. They may very well go down in history as the ones who changed the American food system for the better.


Jack said...

Wow really very nice and good information you share here. I read your entire post and really superb information you share here on funny stuff. thanks for your information.

Naomi Devlin said...

Oh, no! More books to add to my reading list. Thanks for the suggestions.

Oh, and on the raw garlic breath thing (another post of yours I think), the only solution is to force everyone around you to eat it - or talk with your hand permanently in front of your mouth. Or you could try sucking one of those magic metal pebbles that neutralise all odours....

x x x

My Year Without said...

Thanks Jack!

Naomi, Ha. Love the suggestion. Parsley is always handy, too.

I need to add more books to this list! A new post is in order, but for now:

"Appetite for Profit" The author, a health policy expert and lawyer, illustrates how the food industry is undermining American's health. She exposes Big Food's tactics and controls. A great, informative read including helpful guides for what to do about it.