We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. Our over-efficient food industry must do. Editorial Reviews. From the Inside Flap. "In this fascinating book we learn how powerful, Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Politics & Social Sciences. We learn that the food industry plays politics as well as or better than other industries, She vividly illustrates food politics in action: watered-down government.
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We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle. An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics laid the groundwork for today's food revolution and changed the way we respond to food. The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient.
Everyone must eat to survive, but there is a fundamental battle between the Eat Less and the Eat More camps. What we need, Nestle stresses, is an Eat Less mentality, but every day and on many fronts, we are encouraged to Eat More.
While what is best for people is a rational diet preferably full of non-processed food, as Jamie Oliver tirelessly advocates on the TV program and exercise Eat Less , the food industry, in collusion with marketers and Government do everything in their power to sell more product, and therefore encourage more consumption Eat More.
If only it stopped there. This book shows: As Food Politics shows, there is simply a broad range of issues with the food industry that affect every single one of us: Your Libertarian self may sneer at these conclusions. But if Food Politics and Jamie Oliver shows nothing else, it is that options for eating healthy are much less plentiful than options for eating crap. Food Politics is eye-opening, though not always fun to read--it takes less of a position than you might think, given the topic.
Food Politics is more textbook-like, presenting the information and letting the reader draw his own conclusions.
It does not ask for our anger, but it certainly supplies a reason for it. This book belongs in the library of anyone who needs a reason to support locally grown food, or to have their eyes opened to the fact that when it comes to diet, food is very political indeed. Apr 02, Katie rated it liked it. I think most of us are aware of ties between food corporations and our government's food regulations and safety standards to some degree, but this book will show you just how deeply ingrained it all is.
Those are definitely a conf Boy Those are definitely a conflict of interest, and this book will show you how, in every which way, over the years.
You'll never trust another food label again, and that's probably a good thing. This was a pretty "textbook-y" book though, so unless you have a particular interest in this topic, it might put you to sleep in certain parts. There's a lot of info about laws and the workings of bureaucratic institutions, which is great info, but not exactly page-turning reading. But it's a very good source for those interested in this topic.
Sep 07, Mark Hartzer rated it really liked it. If I had to paraphrase and summarize Nestle, it would be that you would be very wise to question every single thing you put in your mouth. Why exactly are you eating that particular item? They desperately want you to eat more.
You are being marketed to folks. Even for a cynical person, it is hard not to feel depres If I had to paraphrase and summarize Nestle, it would be that you would be very wise to question every single thing you put in your mouth. Even for a cynical person, it is hard not to feel depressed at the state of the food industry. Sorry; trademark owned by the American Heart Association.
Plus, after the initial payment, the food product has to fork over an annual renewal fee if they want to keep using the label. Special scorn is reserved for the regulatory agencies and our pitiful Congress for actively working against the public interest on behalf of the food industry.
This book was published in , and it is showing its age. There are frequent references to Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds owning majority shares in many food companies which are no longer the case here in It is scrupulously documented and footnoted.
When Nestle meticulously documents the various failures of deregulation, it really is not open for serious rebuttal because the regulatory capture is completely documented. Recommended with the caveat that it is somewhat dated, much of the material should be already familiar to readers, and it is often technical. View 2 comments. Apr 05, Irene rated it liked it. I actually didn't finish this book, which for me is a very rare thing. One of the reasons I checked the book out was because no one else ever had, though, so I doubt the book was missed.
I thought the beginning was very good and everything was explained in terms simple enough to understand, but by the end my interest was dragging.
Also, I had those AP English books to read at the same time and it's hard to get back into this book when weeks go by before I have time to read for myself again! The information about food guide pyramids of the past was invaluable, and I'm so glad I read it. Although it is a bit outdated and so doesn't say anything about the new food guide pyramid, the one with all the vertical lines that I hate, I now understand why they changed it and how the food industry uses this new pyramid to promote their foods, which are usually bad for you.
I find myself reading labels more often too and I spent some time in the supplement aisle of the grocery store looking at labels. I also focused on the fine print in the Osteo-Biflex commercials because they're on all the time and saw not only the required statement that it can't be used to prevent, treat, diagnose, etc.
Osteo-Biflex's claim it improves joint function within a week was based on two human trials using subjective research methods! This book is easily related to my own life and I have become a smarter consumer because of it.
Mar 18, Amy rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This information in this book is priceless. It is shocking how the food industry functions, and our society seriously needs to start thinking for themselves, instead of downloading into all the propoganda the media is throwing our way, if we ever want to be healthier and prevent more obesity and chronic disease.
It is not an "easy" read. It is slow going for me, but I value everything I've read. I highly recommend Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" as an alternative or supplementary reading that is much easier and faster to read.
This book is very important, though. As a teenager, I had a medical condition that caused me to gain weight, and now I've spent years trying to stay ahead of all the news about what to eat and what not to eat. It's so confusing, and it changes every day! Over the past 6 months, I've learned to use my own knowledge,instinct, and common sense in choosing what foods I eat. I've started ignoring everything I read and hear in the media, and guess what?
I've lost over 40 pounds already! Jan 13, Virginia Messina rated it it was amazing Shelves: Published by the University of California press, this reads a lot more like a textbook than popular literature and it can be a little bit of a chore to plod through. But for anyone who wants to understand the politics behind nutrition advice, it is absolutely the best book to read.
Nestle, who is well-known among health professionals for her experience and perspectives on the politics of food and nutrition, does an amazing job of covering the history of dietary guidance in the United States. She Published by the University of California press, this reads a lot more like a textbook than popular literature and it can be a little bit of a chore to plod through.
Jun 08, Ashley rated it it was ok Shelves: Book club pick for June View all 3 comments. At times you might be forgiven for thinking that surely food can be left free of politics, when so much else in the world is tied up with political string. Sorry, but politics plays a big place here too! Whether it is public policy and politics dictating what we should eat and drink on health grounds, or should that be "health" grounds, geopolitics with us being encouraged to favour produce from country X instead of country Y for various reasons or just plain business politics, with companies lob At times you might be forgiven for thinking that surely food can be left free of politics, when so much else in the world is tied up with political string.
Whether it is public policy and politics dictating what we should eat and drink on health grounds, or should that be "health" grounds, geopolitics with us being encouraged to favour produce from country X instead of country Y for various reasons or just plain business politics, with companies lobbying politicians to help further their own means, food and politics are tied together.
Depressing reading, for sure, but this book provides a good non-hectoring read of this subject in a tenth anniversary edition of a classic work. The food industry is big business and yet this academically-minded book does a good job in opening our eyes to what is actually going on in the wider world, without it sounding like there is a conspiracy behind every door. Written from a U. It is just that perhaps their own country is less open and thus more things are hidden out of view.
Will you be able to look at things again in the same light? Making food is big business and we are encouraged to consume more than we need. Cutting costs to maximise profits often leads to the food that we eat is not necessarily good for us. Convenience foods sound oh-so-convenient until you notice the chemical soup that often accompanies them. There is a reason why various "corners can be cut", totally legally, that maximise profits and waistlines alike.
Ah, but there are pesky government regulations that get in the way of free trade and protect the customer, aren't there? Well, yes, there are regulations but the idea for these regulations doesn't just come from thin air.
Big companies with vested interests invest heavily in lobbying, strong-arming weaker countries and elbowing smaller competitors out of the way. It sounds paranoid but nonetheless… Through this book you will get a much more informed picture of what is going on. You still might be powerless to change things but a better informed consumer can at least attempt to mitigate change even if they cannot influence it. Things are only going to get worse as technological advances are realised.
Already the world is aware of GM genetically modified food and the pros and cons of this, but more and more foodstuffs are coming via a laboratory and they are not there just to make things cheap and tasty. Far from it.. A great index is provided at the end of this very thought-provoking book and, for those who either doubt the veracity of what they are reading or who wish to learn even more there is a fanatical amount of notes and further reading citations as befits a serious academic work.
However it must be stressed that this is an accessible book for the "average reader" but you would be best to set aside some quality time to read and digest its contents. Prepare to be shocked, amazed and possibly sickened by what you read. Tobacco and "Big Pharma" are already painted as villains in many sections of society and, at the time of writing this review, the food industry is under scrutiny in Europe for the criminal mislabelling of horse meat and passing it off in the food chain.
After reading this book you might start to wonder what the next scandal will be and wonder just how it has been allowed to get to this stage… Food Politics: ISBN , pages.
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Jan 24, Tim rated it really liked it Shelves: The idea that profit-maximizing behavior by food companies might harm your health and your waistline is a more mainstream idea now than it was back in when Food Politics was first published. Skyrocketing obesity rates seem to have focused a lot of peoples' attention, and while there's no real consensus on what if anything we should do about it, corporate behavior is definitely on the radar screen. In one level it should be obvious that corporations exist to maximize profits and there's no The idea that profit-maximizing behavior by food companies might harm your health and your waistline is a more mainstream idea now than it was back in when Food Politics was first published.
In one level it should be obvious that corporations exist to maximize profits and there's no law of physics that says what's good for the corporate bottom line is good for public health. Quite the contrary. However, as Marion Nestle makes clear, food companies are not quite the equivalent of tobacco companies, even if their tactics are similar. We still do need to eat, the challenge is to eat better , which is a subtler message than "Don't smoke, dummy.
See also her follow-up Safe Food. The book can be a pretty dry in places and she resists the urge to demonize food corporations or simplify the issues at stake. She doesn't bring the writing style or conceptual gimmicks of a Michael Pollan. But she makes up for her lack of poetry in sheer overwhelming academic firepower. She knows her stuff. Although at times the book can get a bit hard to follow in all of the nuanced policy decisions made by the FDA and USDA, it still packs a pretty solid punch.
Marion Nestle does a great job exposing exactly how the food industry has slowly, but surely, gotten its way with food policy decisions and has done a great job of making the FDA a pretty powerless government entity.
A large portion of this book details how the supplement industry came to be able to label products making health claims with little or no scientific basis whatsoever, and how this has led to food products following suit. Case in point: This book is a recommended read for anybody interested in food, how it is marketed, regulated and sold.
Jun 28, Lexie Stoneking added it Shelves: I have this thing that once I start a book, I have to finish it. I don't know what it is, possibly some OCD, but no matter how much I dislike the book I will finish it. Except for this book. I found this book to be interesting, but so deep and dry that I avoided reading it. I should have know that this book wouldn't be a great pleasure read considering it is used as a textbook here at Iowa State University.
I really did find some of the material interesting. It was enlightening and fascinating to I have this thing that once I start a book, I have to finish it. It was enlightening and fascinating to learn that the ADA now AND isn't exempt from the influence of the food industry.
As a senior in college studying dietetics, I naively thought that the Academy would remain unbiased and be a stable source of completely reliable information. This book, what little I actually read, taught me that I need to be cautious about all information and complete my own research before taking anything at face value. I really waffled back and forth about finishing this book.
Usually, any time I contemplate whether or not I should stop reading a book I always feel very guilty. But I didn't this time. This book was really a drag to read. I had it for 2 weeks and was barely even pages, which is strange for me when I usually finish books within a couple days.
I decided that it wasn't worth my time to force myself to read this book when I really couldn't appreciate the information that was being presented. And plus, I just really want to go back to reading fun books again. I feel it isn't fair if I were to give this book a rating due to the fact that I didn't actually finish it. Without knowing the whole story, I can't accurately rate the book. For an undergraduate class, this book will provide students exposure to the world of food production and provisioning and the underlying political and social ideas and research that shape food and our relationship to itEL.
As the subtitle suggests, Paarlberg covers almost every topic that one should know about food. Additionally, Paarlberg uses simple but precise language to cover the vast array of food topics The strengths of the book encouraged me to use it in a directed readings course.
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