evan pon's Reviews > Foodsmart: Understanding Nutrition in the 21st Century

Foodsmart by Diana  Hunter
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Jan 12, 10

Read in January, 2010

I won this book from GoodReads, through their book giveaways. Thanks GoodReads!

The book was not quite what I expected. It was very encyclopedic - listing out more than I ever wanted to know about various vitamins, bacteria, etc. It appeared to be researched very meticulously - every assertion was backed up with a footnote, which I assume referred to the appropriate study. There was a good amount of useful information as well - for example, I now know (or could look up) how long I should store brown sugar in the pantry (4 months. I've had mine for about 2 years).

However, the encyclopedic nature makes the book very hard to read, as opposed to using it as a reference. I found myself skipping passages quite often - either because I didn't care about that deep level of detail, or because the passage was the same as a previous one (for example, pork and beef may share many of the same health warnings).

One thing that really bothered me was the very first chapter. The author states that nutritional information is always in flux, and so is confusing. She asserts that this is due to 'variables'. To me, that is saying that things change because there are a lot of things that can change.

If you use this book the way I believe it was meant to be used (more as a reference), I think you will be satisfied. Just don't expect to read it the way you might have read Omnivore's Dilemma.
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