10 Great Books About Food

In Defense of Food

Are you looking for something good to read? I have to admit that I have a iPad full of books I can’t quite get around to, but I keep trying. This is a great time of year to get some reading in–spring planting hasn’t quite started and the hectic holidays are in the rear view mirror. Here are some food-related book ideas for you. Note, these are NOT cookbooks, although some have recipes. Cookbooks will come in another post!

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty by Mark Winne

This is on my reading list, but I am all about the two questions he asks:ย What about those people who are not financially able to make conscientious choices about where and how to get food? And in a time of rising rates of both diabetes and obesity, what can we do to make healthier foods available for everyone?

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is hands down my favorite food writer. His Opinion pieces for the New York Times are well-researched, thoughtful and compelling. I love this book because it not only addresses the environmental, social and bio-ethical issues with our current food system, he provides 77 recipes to illustrate how eating with a conscience can also be delicious.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Really love Michael Pollan as an author. This well-written book examines why, as we become more concerned about nutrition, we also become less healthy. His formula is to “eat real food, not too much, and mostly plants.” That’s the synopsis, but I recommend reading the whole thing ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, see his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

This is really one of the books that started folks thinking about food differently. This expose of the American fast food system examines how this industry has changed food production systems in America for the worst.

Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto by Peter Pringle

This book examines the extraordinary changes in food production as it relates to seeds, how they are engineered, and who has control. I like this publication because it is not Monsanto-bashing, but a more balanced look at the positives and negatives of GMO food production.

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health edited by Gene Stone

Those of you who follow my blog know that I am not a vegetarian, although I do love vegetables. This is on my list to read!

Food Justice (Food, Health and the Environment) by Robert Gottleib

What is food justice? “A food justice framework ensures that the benefits and risks of how food is grown and processed, transported, distributed, and consumed are shared equitably. Gottlieb and Joshi recount the history of food injustices and describe current efforts to change the system, including community gardens and farmer training in Holyoke, Massachusetts, youth empowerment through the Rethinkers in New Orleans, farm-to-school programs across the country, and the Los Angeles school system’s elimination of sugary soft drinks from its cafeterias.” Word.

Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill by Daniel Imhoff

This is a brand-new edition of this book, which deconstructs issues related to national agricultural policy and the federal Farm Bill. I don’t know about you, but I really need this information to understand what the heck is going on.

The Un-Healthy Truth by Robyn O’Brian

There is nothing like an enraged mom to make a change. Following her daughter’s nearly fatal reaction to eggs, Robyn O’Brian started researching our food industry and how foods are prepared and labelled. She discovered that toxins, including those known to cause disease, are permitted in foods.

The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities by Peter Ladner

This is a wonderful, inspiration book focusing on strategies for bringing fresh food and food production into the cities and addressing issues of food access.

What are your favorite food reads?

Books behind the bed

11 responses

  1. Have you read any of these? I think I’m gonna snag a few of them for my brother. He loves change-the-world with food documentaries. Fast Food Nation is one I’ve wanted to read for awhile, but I really dig the questions posed by the first book you listed.
    We are on a STUPID tight budget and if I didn’t do so much cooking from scratch I have no idea what we would eat?! Probably lots of Doritoes. And have you noticed your grocery budget stopping short lately? I am getting less and less for my $, and I basically buy the same stuff all the time so… what’s up with that, man?
    Thanks for the reading list, Deanna!!

    • I have read a few, but others are waiting for my attention span to catch up. You know, I have noticed the price of yogurt, cheese and soy milk going up, but since I mostly shop at the farmers market, I don’t have a very good sense of store prices. Cooking from scratch is a definite money saver though! And you’re saving on future health care costs by not eating all that processed stuff! Yay, you!!!

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