Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes
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Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  8,510 ratings  ·  637 reviews
From the award-winning champion of culinary simplicity who gave us the bestselling How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian comes Food Matters, a plan for responsible eating that's as good for the planet as it is for your weight and your health.

We are finally starting to acknowledge the threat carbon emissions pose to our ozone layer, but few people h

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Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published (first published December 30th 2008)
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Mindy
Mar 13, 2009 Mindy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those in search of the Cliffs Notes to Michael Pollan's work
Shelves: food, 600s, non-fiction
If Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Mark Bittman all invited me to a dinner party on the same evening and I could only accept one invitation, I'd take Bittman's. This book doesn't offer many new insights, but Bittman comes across as less dogmatic and self-righteous than the other two. He seems like someone I could enjoy a meal and a conversation with. And his cookbooks taught me how to cook.
Bob
Many readers will, no doubt, be tempted to turn this into a 'diet book'. It's not and the author makes it clear that it's not his intention. It is nothing more than a call to sanity in regards the way we eat and the contents of our meals.

It's refreshing to hear someone make so much sense when it comes to food. The message is simple and logical: eat less animal products, more plant products and cut out pseudo-foods. This will lead to better health, lost weight, money savings, and a clear conscien...more
Elizabeth
Two years ago, Bittman, an admitted foodie, was overweight. Over the course of one month, however, his cholesterol and blood sugar were down. His sleep apnea was gone and he was fifteen pounds lighter. Major changes all by eating healthier, the details of which Bittman discusses at length in the book.

Food Matters is broken up in two sections. The first looks at food consumption and how that impacts global warning (factory farming, yes, but mass produced baked goods are one of the largest contrib...more
Zelda
Update: Ooooh. Recipes! Automatic four stars!

I kind of can't believe I'm reading instead of using it as kindling for burning my recyclable plastics but it was sitting there on the library shelf and before I knew what was happening I was attacked by a pack of ninjas. In the chaos of the ensuing ninja bloodbath the book ended up in my bag. I was feeling peckish by the time I got home so the subject of food, even heavily spiked with all manner of eco-nonsense, appealed to me and I started reading....more
Emily
The things this book says will come as no surprise to readers of Omnivore's Dilemma or Animal Vegetable Miracle. Well written, but framed more as a diet book. Helpful for someone looking to overhaul their diet.
Adela (Lita)
This is a good alternative to Pollan's books if you're too busy to read them and want a shortcut to start eating healthy, earth-friendly, affordable food. But you will not get the intellectual pay off that Pollan's books give you. Bittman is smart and concise. His book is about giving people the short story about industrialized farming and a practical approach to everyday eating.
Debra
Very thought-proking information on how our way of eating (lots of meat, fast foods, and packaged foods) effect our enivornment, not only our health. Made me look at food from a different perspective and now I want to make some changes in my diet even more than ever. The information and statistics portion of this book is a small portion and quick-read. It is followed by many yummy-sounding healthy (and environmentally-friendly) recipes. I will probably buy the cookbook which followed up this boo...more
Paula
Mark Bittman makes so much sense! His plan to add more veggies and grains to your diet is entirely doable. His recipes are delicious and uncomplicated. His is a healthy eating plan I seem able to actually follow. (Of course Jim has lost weight, sigh.)
Bruce
I found this a very helpful book for someone who has read Kinsolver and Pollan and wants to find a way to put their ideas into practice, but who has to cook for a family, and can't turn everything upside down all at once.

Bittman starts with an overview of the key concepts that Pollan addresses in The Omnivore's Dilemna, but then moves into very practical suggestions. Essentially, he is putting his own spin on Pollan's "Eat food, mostly plants".

His own approach has been to avoid dairy and meat...more
Andi
I think I heard about this book from Salon, and I probably found it on Salon because I was looking for information the illustrious Michael Pollan, who I adore. But when I read this Salon review, I knew I had to get a hold of this book - here would be a book that would help me put into practice, practically (like that?), what Pollan has told me in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. Here I would finally figure out how to eat healthily and responsibly. . . you can see I had high hopes f...more
Colleen
Mar 10, 2009 Colleen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who care about what they eat
This is largely redundant with Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food, is written with more invective and fewer sources. However, I liked the fact that he pointed out that the treatment of animals in the meat industry is cruel (at best) and that anyone w/ an ounce of compassion should be able to recognized that (especially all the pet owners out there). He also emphasizes the huge effect that meat production has global warming, which is massive beyond belief. The best part of the book though i...more
Gail
I'm so annoyed that I bought this book in hardcover. What a waste of money. I believed the hype. Don't read this book. Just read The Omnivore's Dilemna and enjoy some good writing and investigative journalism. This book is just a weak distillation of what I have already read in other books. I think he was just jumping on the bandwagon. The book is set up like a typical diet book, even though it clams not to be. First comes the personal testimony, then the persuasive bit, then the meal plan, then...more
Natalie Barnes
So I've had a few friends change how they ate recently and so i was intrigued. I looked up several books about health and diet and from the summaries, this was the one i was most interested in. i really liked it. he gives the hows and the whys to eating more plants, less animals, and cutting out junk food. i enjoyed reading the facts he had but also how simply he feels that everybody can just do a little better to make an impact. his writing style is very easy to read. he comes off a bit bitter,...more
Lex
I like Bittman and his simple approach to cooking. In this book, he distills some of the important points from Michael Pollan's books. I'm probably not his target audience as I agree with all of his points and have been trying to follow, for a year or two now, the eating habits he advocates.

However, he did put concrete numbers to some abstract ideas about the way we eat. For example... "To give you an idea of how much more energy goes into junk food than comes out, consider that a 12 ounce can...more
Ben
I [heart:] Bittman, but this book didn't have much new to say. Basically just Bitty's take on Michael Pollan's rules: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." The first few chapters explain how Americans have a screwed up relationship with food, but there hasn't been much to report since In Defense of Food or even Food Politics. The last half is recipes and meal plans designed for Bittman's "vegan until dark" diet, most of which are available in his other cookbooks.
Natalie Tyler
Bittman is one of the best food writers of our time. Along with Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, and a couple of other authors, he makes a lot of sense about the parlous state of today's supermarket.

I highly recommend this book as a starting point or even a middle-of-the-way point for anyone who is trying to improve the quality of his or her diet, eating, health, and eco-consciousness.

Also lost in the many positive reviews of Bittman is the fact that he's a great writer and his writing is a real...more
Brian
In many ways, this is the same book as every "we've gotta change the way we're eating!" food book that's come out in the last 5 years. BUT, here's why it's my favorite. Two reasons. 1. Bittman has read all the Michael Pollan & co books, so now you don't have to unless you're really into being bummed out about corn. 2. The back half of the book is dozens of killer recipes to help you practice what's being suggested. Or, you know, just triple the meat and halve the vegetables, and you've got a...more
Holly
As other reviewers have said, this book's messages are similar to those of Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle. But Bittman actually says something I don't think I've ever read before (and that I believe is true): that it's okay to go hungry once in awhile! Americans have become "accustomed to feeding ourselves at the first sign" and we could think twice before eating from simple hunger. We might occasionally consider embracing our hunger! Shocking.
Stephanie
This book reads like a beginner's guide to eating better food and making better choices. Bittman lays out a lot of information in an easy-to-follow format that will help the reader understand the realities of our food decisions and the impact they have on the greater world.

I really enjoyed this book. For the past few years we have made a conscious effort to enjoy more locally produced foods, less meat, and this year we are starting a huge garden. The goal is to make better decisions that improve...more
Angelnina
"Food Matters" is something I had been doing intuitively for a while now, but this book helped me to take it to the next level.
Excellent book for improving both the health the planet and our bodies.
I saw him speak about his book at University of Washington, and I felt inspired to go home and eat more veggies and fruit!
Marie
Michael Pollan's books are much more informative, but I still liked Mark Bittman's easy, straight forward presentation and his recipes are always reliable. I think this book is most suitable for someone who is interested in the most basic explanations of a healthy diet and the problems with our food supply chain.
Suzanne
Jan 26, 2010 Suzanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Suzanne by: Stephanie White
Even though I already knew some of the facts of this book, it was still inspiring to me. I enjoyed the recipes and I like the ideas. I'm going to buy a copy.

I got my copy and now I'm re-reading it.

Now I'm trying some of the recipes in the book.
Beth
Very good advice on better eating that is much more realistic than many books about changing food habits and not preachy. Motivated me to make some healthy, incremental changes. Looking forward to trying some of the recipes too.
Anna
Simple, straightforward talk about how eating more plants and less animals is beneficial all-around.

It's sort of an accident (really) that I chose to read this book; I've owned it for a while and I wanted to make my January reading list be made up of books that I've owned but not read. The fact that it's a 'healthy eating' book that I'm reading in January (when all the resolutions about dieting and health come back in full force) really wasn't planned.

I really like Mark Bittman as a food writer:...more
GraceAnne
I have loved Bittman's recipes in the NYTimes for years. I have taken him as my guru in the quest for a way of eating suitable to the various difficulties being in one's 60s places one.
Jonathan
Learned a lot from this book, and really started thinking differently,a little more spiritually, actually, for once in my life, about my eating habits and how bad they suck.
Laurie Rackley-joseph
Mar 24, 2010 Laurie Rackley-joseph is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laurie by: Bridget Wynia
This is a must read and I am grateful to my dear friend for the gift....
Dawne
This could've been two books. The first part considers the expanding state of our fast food nation. Bittman is a journalist first, and I found his research riveting. I liked the little green quotations in the margins, as I can see myself pulling this book off its precarious kitchen shelf to back up some argument that arises out of the process of planning our family's menu for the week. Unlike many contemporary exposes of the food industry, though, I left this book feeling hopeful. Thank the Gods...more
Lisa
I am not sure how you rate a food/health/cook book. I have come full circle with Bittman. He was one of the first cookbook authors I became familiar with around 20 years ago. About 5 years ago, I became more interested in local food because of reading Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." Then, of course, Pollan. Need I say more? I think that Bittman's book fits nicely into the food movement and it helps that he is a skeptic. He describes his "sane way of eating" which is vegan until...more
Patrick Gibson
Jan 30, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who eat?
Shelves: truth_sort-of
Like Charles Foster Kane, I have my declaration of principles. Part of which includes my love of meat. I love a great steak. A well made hamburger can send me into fits of rapture. From time to time I pick up a ‘food’ book, usually because one has skyrocketed into the public consciousness for a few months acquiring a coveted ‘must read’ status. Then the book vanishes like a poorly remembered dream and I go about eating the same way I always have—whatever the marketing monsters tell me. I don’t c...more
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UW-Parkside Library: Food Matters 1 2 Dec 18, 2012 10:28AM  
  • What to Eat
  • Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You
  • Real Food: What to Eat and Why
  • Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, and Fair
  • Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It
  • Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally
  • Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen
  • Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets
  • The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
  • Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking
  • An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace
  • Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
  • Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It
  • Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
  • Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health
  • The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter
  • The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
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MARK BITTMAN is one of the country's best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman writes for the Opinion section of New York Times on food policy and cooking, and is a columnist for the New York Times Magazine. His "The Minimalist" cooking show, based on his popular NYT column,...more
More about Mark Bittman...
How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food How to Cook Everything Vegetarian The Best Recipes in the World VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

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“1 billion people in the world are chronically hungry. 1 billion people are overweight.” 48 likes
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