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The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth about Healthy Eating

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,141 ratings  ·  153 reviews
"The popular understanding of nutrition is clouded by superstitions, primitive intuitions, conspiracy theories, and old wives' tales. This irreverent and intelligent expose brings sanity and good sense to one of life's great pleasures." ―Steven Pinker, author of Angels of Our Better Nature

Never before have we had so much information available to us about food and health. T
Paperback, 326 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by ONEWorld Publications
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The Angry Chef Guide to Spotting Bullshit in the World of Food
1.They will have a food philosophy.
2.They will try to sell you detox.
3.They will tell you that your illness is your own fault.
4.They will fit the health blogger template.*
5.They will talk about superfoods.
6.They will use anecdotes as evidence.
7.They will quote ancient wisdoms at you.
8.They will tell you things were better ‘back then’.
9.They will tell you all these things with great certainty.

"I was living my impossibly glamorous life
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I agree with so much of this book and am in complete favour of anything which aims to debunk nonsensical pseudoscience. I think the problems I had with the book were firstly, the angry, shouty style and 'cute' tics of having 'Science Columbo' probably work better in a blog format, in a full length book it becomes repetitive and annoying quite quickly. Another thing I found grating was the constant 'celeb' bashing (one in particular); now, I never thought there would come a day when I would feel ...more
K.J. Charles
A thoroughly enjoyable, sweary and important read about the poisonous lies we're fed about food. Warner has some scientific background and a passion for food, and also common sense, and he takes on the Gwyneth Paltrow/paleo/clean eating brigades with gusto, attacking the baselessness and pseudoscience of it all, but also the thinly veiled misogyny and fatphobia that lies behind all this.

The first half of the book is basically a high octane rant, which is massive fun. The second half delves into
I appreciate the debunking of some silly and some openly dangerous myths because who doesn't find magical thinking dressed as science and then preached as gospel annoying? But I especially appreciate the absolutely novel, in my experience, approach to talking about food and health mainly from the point of view of mental health. Food is good, it's more than just fuel, it's a powerful cultural tool we use to derive pleasure, make bonds, understand each other, experience different cultures, explore ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Sorry to say this, but I did not like this book at all, I couldn't even get past chapter 6. It's a shame because lots of healthcare professionals and nutritionists were talking it up and promoting it. And I really, really wanted to like this book; the author just made it very difficult for me.
There are (some) useful information and good points in there, of course. However, I couldn't find most of them as they are greatly overshadowed by the unappealing style of writing and very strong opinions
Emilia Barnes
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest - for the first few chapters I wasn't really into this book. That's because those chapters, barring one or two useful insights, were mostly like blog posts about fad diet and idiot lifestyle gurus, and how they're wrong: a fact that most readers of books like this will already know. So it felt sort of like we're patting each other on the back about how clever we are to not fall for such idiot tricks.

I only started getting into this book in chapter 12 (A History of Quackery), and
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderfully well put together piece of genius this is.

As a food teacher, I’ve long believed the wisdom held within but never had the nerve to stand up against the trash in the media. Read this, it will seriously open your eyes, and do so in a hugely entertaining manner.

It has profanity too!

I’ll leave you with this little piece of wisdom...

“Put down that superfood smoothie, ditch your wellness books, close that clean-eating web page and delete it from your history. Unfollow the wellness
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bravo. Now I trust nothing. 3.8.
Claire Kane
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Something in me wants to print this out and it out to everyone who thinks Gluten is bad for them, that potatoes are somehow not good for you and so on. I love debunking nutritional nonsense and as a long time sufferer of eating disorders nothing pisses me off more than someone demonising certain foods. I love this book and I recommend to everyone! a must read.
Julia Jakobsen
Very much in the vein of Ben Goldacre, The Angry Chef sets out to debunk clean eating myths and bad food science. It's a very interesting topic but unfortunately it comes across as jumbled and badly written. Too anecdotal and not enough research to back up some pretty wild statements (like how women were freed from the shackles of the kitchen by convenience foods and railing against homemade food), maybe it will be popular with teenagers in the throes of clean eating blogs and health food propag ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
“When modern medicine has little to offer, one of the few things people can control is their food. As their illness progresses and they start to feel worse, they will look for any intervention that might help. Many will find advice from alternative practitioners or the internet, often telling them to exclude certain things from their diet.”

Warner, and his learned cohorts, like Goldacre’s “Bad Science” and Ernst & Singh’s “Trick Or Treatment” try to take a sobering and practical look at some of t
Mart Roben
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is like a finely cooked dish, with many layers of enjoyment. The main theme is scientific evidence (or lack thereof) for benefits of various food fads. In addition to raw facts, it explores the origins and psychology of persistent culinary nonsense. Elegant cussing and imaginary dialogues are also among the aforementioned layers.

It’s no wonder pseudoscientific eating advice is so common - in a twisted way, bullshit diets often appear to work. The Angry Chef suggests several explanation
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title flags a truth not often recognized in Boulder County, CO, where I live: there is a LOT of bullshit in the world of food. And the many faces of that bullshit, plus their antecedents (ayurveda, etc.), are all spelled out in this book: Paleo, gluten-free-for-non-celiacs, detoxing, "clean" eating. Many of these eating protocols are built on a grain of truth (ha! get it? "grain" of truth!), but have spun way out of control, to the point that the author argues they foster disordered eating, ...more
นรินทร์ โอฬารกิจอนันต์
I am convinced of several points in this book. Anyway, I think potatoes do have some disadvantage; They have a very high GI index, as high as glucoses.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-way-we-eat
5 stars for readability
5 stars for his effusive love of food (which I share)
5 stars for making me think about many things in ways I had not thought about before
5 stars for his ideas about how science should be taught - not just as hard facts but also as a way of life - of thinking critically about the world, dealing with uncertainty and realizing how much we don’t know

However, I’ve got one sticking point with this book which is making it difficult for me to rate it overall - I don’t think he get
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Highly enjoyable. There really is so much nonsense floating around about fad diets and cleanses and superfoods that it was quite refreshing to read something that debunked all the nonsense and steered by actual scientific evidence and common sense. (However, there was not nearly as much profanity or actual amusing ranting as expected - it's all very civil, really. I'll assume he saves the expletives for his blog.)

I wish I could say this book will be useful as a basis for initiating conversations
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody except good friends committed to really bad diets
Shelves: nonfiction
The content -- a scathing takedown of fad diets and pseudoscience around food -- is hilarious until the part about innocent people dying in agony because they are trying to cure their cancer with guacamole or to starve their child out of autism, as advised by various diet gurus. True believers in any of those cure-all diets will not enjoy this book. Nor will Gwenyth Paltrow or the real-life model for the two guys called "Jamie" and "Oliver."

It's sweary / quite raw in places, but honestly that's
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Although it was more about science than about food, and the science was sometimes a bit hard to follow, I did enjoy this and took away some fundamentally useful ideas, like the regress to the mean. Other ideas I had were more or less confirmed, like the (fairly logical) one that any diet which completely restricts some kind of food, like sugar or flour or fat, a) will lead to some initial weight loss and b) will not be not very balanced, will it? I also found his thoughts about how the real prob ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, non-fiction
Chef Anthony Warner has made a second career out of "debunking Nutribollocks" on his blog and social media. In this, his first book, he talks about how we have been swept up in a craze of clean eating, detoxing, and wellness.

Split up into different chapters and sprinkled with humour, this was a really interesting and fun read. He debunks a lot of myths sold to us on a daily basis (detoxing IS NOT A THING), and investigates the darker side of some advertising - the way companies and organisation
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
⭐️⭐️ Angry Chef looks at specific diets and fads and tries to dismantle nonsense spread by self-proclaimed food experts. Even though I agree with a lot of what Anthony Warner says, I just couldn’t go through this badly written rant. There are other, less angry and more convincing ways to talk about popular nutritional myths and debunk fad diets such as paleo, gluten-free, alkaline, the sugar conspiracy, or clean eating.
You really don’t need to read this book to know that when it comes to the foo
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If I could give it more than 5* I totally would. It was just brilliant.
Fad diets? Bah. Superfoods? Rubbish. Just avoid processed foods and eat a variety of foods, all of them in moderation.
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Angry Chef’s Guide debunks pseudoscience in mainstream media and makes the convincing argument that pseudoscience is not harmless as you may think, but a gateway for dangerous beliefs such as anti-vaccination and naturopathic cures for cancer. The Angry Chef’s Guide champions the scientific method and passionately argues for the liberation of science from a list of facts to memorize in high school but to accept and surrender to science as the constant questioning of life and to live comforta ...more
Leigh Anne
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it and weep for humanity. Then cheer for science.

Science is complicated and messy. Unfortunately, that doesn't line up really well with what the human brain demands of its nutrition information. We just want to know what five things to eat, what five things to avoid, and how we can never get cancer again. Sadly, there are a lot of books out there that cater to this desire for simplification, and most of them are bullshit. Thankfully, the Angry Chef is here to explain why, using the principl
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was a follower of the Angry Chef’s blog before this book came about, and I admit I came into reading this knowing I would broadly agree with its conclusions: I want the public to better understand science and evidence, I hate “nutribollocks,” I find “wellness gurus” and people who get sanctimonious and obsessive about what they eat to be tremendous bores, and I love gluten. So it’s unsurprising that this book largely satisfied me even though it wasn’t necessarily news to me. It feels like the ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I've turned down quite a few pages at the corners to return back to. It's clear, even in the writers own words, that he is seeking some 'shock tactics' to get this content out into the public domain, fighting the tide of celebrity bloggers with limited credentials who are flogging 'clean eating' and other unhelpful plans that feed into disordered eating behaviours. Underneath the humour and occasional strong language there's evidence of a decent amount of research ...more
Oh, I love books like this.

Goodreads description:

A persuasive takedown of the pseudo-science that saturates wellness advice as “one by one Warner demolishes popular food myths” (Guardian)

Combating “nutri-nonsense” with hard-hitting facts, trained-scientist-turned-professional-chef Anthony Warner (aka the Angry Chef) debunks commonly held beliefs about food that are questionable at best and patently dangerous at worst—served up with humor, evidence, and a heavy dose of common sense. Fad diets an
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have classed this as nonfiction, but perhaps this is wrong. The Angry Chef is giving us a guide to the fictions, or non-scientific ideas, about food that have gained great sway in popular culture. It is interesting to discover that many of the food ideas we hold really have no scientific basis and are even based on totally mistaken ideas of a small scientific fact, like what paleo people ate, are the core on which many people base their food choices. Chef Warner looks at several "mainstream" f ...more
Shannon Paul
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really did not know what to expect with this title. I found the reading recommendation on one of my favorite blogs (GoFugYourself) and picked it up from an Audible sale.

I've never been a fad dieter but if I had - this book would cure that. Warner makes it clear that any diet that exists to restrict your eating by food group is suspect. I learned not only about toxic cleanses, acid/alkaline based diets, and gluten-free but also about what anti-oxidants and free radicals really mean, the relatio
Юра Мельник
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chief Warner has extremely rational views. He's like House M. D. of the modern food industry, separating scalperam with harmful biases one after the other. Smoothly goes from food bias to a fierce confrontation between conservatives and liberals. Revenge by modern pseudo-scientists is a dish that is fed cold and with glutamate sodium.
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