What we eat is vitally important and directly related to how we feel. If we eat junk, we feel crappy. If we eat corn syrup, we gain weight quickly and we endanger the health of our hearts. This holiday season, get yourself or get your loved ones something essential: information about food. I’m sure it will be much appreciated. Here are some suggestions:
1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan writes about how our food is grown — what it is, in fact, that we are eating. The book is really three in one: The first section discusses industrial farming; the second, organic food, both as big business and on a relatively small farm; and the third, what it is like to hunt and gather food for oneself. And each section culminates in a meal — a cheeseburger and fries from McDonald’s; roast chicken, vegetables and a salad from Whole Foods; and grilled chicken, corn and a chocolate soufflé (made with fresh eggs) from a sustainable farm; and, finally, mushrooms and pork, foraged from the wild.
2. What to Eat – This is a readers a virtual tour, highlighting the main concerns of each food group, including baby, health and prepared foods, and supplements. Nestle’s prose is informative and entertaining; she takes on the role of detective, searching for clues to the puzzle of healthy and satisfying nutrition. Her intelligent and reassuring approach will likely make readers venture more confidently through the jungle of today’s super-sized stores.
3. Real Food – What to Eat and Why – Planck links good nutrition to sensible enjoyment of food in all its variety.
4. Chew on This – Everything You Don’t Want to Know – Including passages from Schlosser’s best-selling adult book Fast Food Nation (2001) and other writings, the authors dish up a somewhat-less-stomach-churning look at the fast-food industry’s growth, practices, and effects on public health.