Mary Rose's Reviews > What to Eat

What to Eat by Marion Nestle
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's review
Sep 09, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction

I have been interested in fitness and health for about 2 years now. I started out mainly focusing on fitness, working out a lot and trying new and varied routines. About a year ago I became more aware of my health and how it was affecting my overall well-being. That was when I took the leap into vegetarianism. I'm very happy now as a vegetarian, but I'm not writing this to advocate any particular lifestyle. A friend of mine who I consider a fitness guru suggested this book to me, because he knew I was already becoming aware of what foods I put in my body, and he knew I wanted to learn more.

This book has been an invaluable tool for me. When I got fit, I would walk into grocery stores and read signs and labels and ingredients, and I'd leave more confused than when I came in. Half the time I only hoped I made the healthiest choice from all my options because it seemed to me, making the most informed choice would require so much research my head would explode. Enter Marion Nestle, my supermarket savior.

The intro explains her approach to the book, all the research she did, and lays out a ground plan for the whole thing. Each section focuses on a particular part of the grocery store -- and she writes it the way I walk around the store (produce, meats, dairy, center aisles). The chapters are broken down into smaller, concise parts. She uses simple language, explains the science in basic ways (even a left brain challenged person like me got it), and she summarizes all the parts at the end of the chapter to help you see their relationships to each other.

The other huge reason I loved this book was her all-inclusive philosophy, and her objectivity. Never in the book did she tell you to "eat this, not that." In fact, she advocated against it, which I agree with. Also, at the end of chapters, when she drew her conclusions, they always stayed objective. She never wrote that any food should be avoided or any food was always safe or good. She included information for vegetarians, but she never gave her personal opinion whether she agreed with that lifestyle or not. I loved that.

The point is, if you're interested in what's happening at the grocery store, if you're interested in knowing more about the food you eat (and I think everyone should be...guess I'm not as objective as Ms. Nestle...oh well), if you're interested in knowing strategies the food companies and grocery stores use to get you to buy things you might not otherwise purchase, then this book is for you. This book is especially for you if you do not want to be preached at, you just want the facts.

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