Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health, Revised and Expanded Edition (California Studies in Food and Culture)
 
 
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Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health, Revised and Expanded Edition (California Studies in Food and Culture) [Paperback]

Marion Nestle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)


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Book Description

October 15, 2007
An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics laid the groundwork for today's food revolution and changed the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. Now, a new introduction and concluding chapter bring us up to date on the key events in that movement. This pathbreaking, prize-winning book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.


Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"A courageous and masterful exposé."—Julia Child

"If you eat, you should read this book."—Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

About the Author

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Author of Nutrition in Clinical Practice, she has served as a nutrition policy advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a member of nutrition and science advisory committees to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. She is the author of Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (UC Press) and What to Eat .

Product Details

  • Paperback: 510 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Revised and Expanded Edition edition (October 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520254031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520254039
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003. She also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley.

She has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and the UCSF School of Medicine. From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health.

Her research examines scientific, economic, and social influences on food choice and obesity, with an emphasis on the role of food marketing.

She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (California Press, 2002, revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (California Press, 2003, revised edition 2010), and What to Eat (North Point Press, 2006). Her latest book, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, was published by California Press in 2008. Feed Your Pet Right, co-authored with Malden Nesheim, will be published by Free Press in May, 2010.

She writes the Food Matters column for the San Francisco Chronicle, and blogs daily (almost) at www.foodpolitics.com and for the Atlantic Food Channel at http://amcblogmte4.atlantic-media.us/food/nutrition.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative for 2002 September 2, 2009
Format:Paperback
Originally published in 2002 and updated in 2007 Marion Nestle's "Food Politics" is an informative if academic read. She explains clearly and patiently how the food industry has co-opted nutritionists, government agencies, and schools, threatening the health and safety of consumers and children. And when they cannot co-opt they choose to misinform, lie, slander, or sue, as when Texas cattlemen sued Oprah Winfrey. Especially frustrating is how, thanks to their successful lobbying and close government connections (there seems to be a revolving door between the Food & Drug Administration and the executive suites of food conglomerates such as Monsanto) the food industry can legally mislabel their products to misinform consumers. This is especially true for vitamin supplements, which can make a lot of outrageous claims without ever having to go through FDA approval.

The only problem with the book is that it is perhaps too right. Since the initial publication of "Food Politics," a lot of other books, sometimes based on the original insights offered in "Food Politics," have been published that gives readers a more comprehensive and disturbing look into the manipulations and machinations of the vast and powerful food industry. And this past summer a documentary called "Food, Inc." came out, which puts in stunning and striking visual context the problems with the food industry. Even Marion Nestle's new book "What to Eat" distills all the insights from her first work.

Reading "Food Politics" then is slightly redundant. That is not the fault of the author. Indeed, it's a testament to how influential the book has become.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-changing presentation of facts about food July 26, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First, I have to commend Nestle, the author, for doing the near-impossible feat of providing highly controversial facts and information in a clear manner, which is so damning that you cannot help but feel yourself transform your thoughts about food - and she does it without lecturing the reader. Bravo!

Some passages that particularly sat with me included, "Surveys indicate that people are interested in nutritional and health but are confused by conflicting information, suffer from "nutritional schizophrenia," and cannot figure out how to achieve "nutritional utopia." (p.91) [Indeed... and there's a billion-dollar industry counting on that!] "The hundreds of millions of dollars available to the meat and dairy lobbies through check-off programs, and the billions of dollars that food companies spend on advertising and lawsuits, so far exceed both the amounts spent by the federal government on nutrition advice for the public and the annual budget of any consumer advocacy group that they cannot be considered in the same stratosphere." (p.171) "Researches counted not a single commercial for fruits, vegetables, bread, or fish." (p.182) "It seems reasonable to expect that everyone would be concerned about whether supplements are safe, whether they do what they claim to do, and whether the benefit of taking them outweighs any financial or health risks they might induce." (p.220) "Because all foods and drinks include ingredients (calories, nutrients, or water) that are essential for life, any one of them has the potential to be marketed for its health benefits." (p.315) "Food package labels are the result of politics, not science, and [have] become so opaque or confusing that only consumers with the hermeneutic abilities of a Talmudic scholar can peel back the encoded layers of meaning.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An academic yet engrossing exposé May 18, 2009
By .
Format:Paperback
I plowed my way through this book across many late-nights at my favorite 24/7 coffee bar, easily ignoring all of the "local atmosphere."

If you can handle heavy academic reading, this book is practically a Woodward & Bernstein thriller -- an extremely engrossing exposé concerning the VERY ugly political underbelly of the American food industry, and how it chugs away to keep all of us as confused as possible about our food choices and what honestly constitutes sound nutritional guidance.

If you're boggled by choices that SHOULD be simple, such as trying to figure out whether it's healthier to eat butter or some chemical facsimile which includes ingredients you couldn't pronounce to save your grandmother's soul, the spotlight on politics in this book will salve your frazzled mind. The decades of political insanity and posturing surrounding something so seemingly simple as [what food pyramid version is permitted in schools] says so much about the ENTIRE industry. Don't feel badly if you're a bit confused about "good nutrition," because you are NOT alone. Scores of millions of Americans feel the EXACT same way ... and Big Food likes it that way!

Nestle's writing does indeed get rather heady in some sections; however, she's challenging decades of contradiction, confusion, obfuscation, and outright lies that Big Food has tried to sell to America, so it really is necessary for her to preemptively buttress herself against anticipated challenges from Big Food and their seemingly-endless supply of lawyers and lobbyists. Ignore the negative reviews.

If heady, heavily-cited reading is NOT your thing, feel free to check out the [similar reading] suggestions, because there will probably arrive some point (or several) at which you REALLY want to throw this book at the wall. Just an honest observation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Food Politics
Marion Nestle wrote how the food industry influences nutrition and health. Politics, government and the Food Industry are influencing the way consumers eat. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Barbara Charis
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have!!
I am only about 100 pages in but i absolutely love it. Very, very through information and facts! One of the best books i have read!
Published 3 months ago by collin
3.0 out of 5 stars Long and complex for the non-dietitian reader
It took me 9 months to make it through Food Politics. The topic is relevant and it's interesting to compare the food industry political landscape at the time most of the book was... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tessa Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Reinventing the food wheel, or how the food industry tries to pull the...
A must-read for anyone concerned by the mess of our food system. If you were considering going vegan, this book will help you make the transition.
Published 7 months ago by P. Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Animal based products are not good for you. Plant based products are good for you. Great book that exposes the food companies role in our current epidemic. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dennis J. Hartmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read
This book was assigned to read for class in my graduate nutrition program. Definitely an amazing, eye-opening book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by adam_d_j
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
We need food to live yet there are compromises in what we consume. That's disturbing. This book gives a deep understanding of the challenges that arise because of the conflicting... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Promod Sharma
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrifying
Marion is a genius, a fighter and a patriot. This book is terrifying! We don't know jack about our food system! Educate yourself!!
Published 17 months ago by shugashug
4.0 out of 5 stars important but dry
An important book for all Americans discussing the tactics by which food companies promote increased use of their products by methods that include manipulation of the political... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Harvey Hensley
4.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive review of backdoor dealings
This is a great book by an authoritative author. If you are doing research, this book would be an excellent resource. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Michael S. Nuckols
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Biased?
This book exposes how the corporations were influencial in the creation of the USDA Food Pyramid and their nutritional guidelines. It is less concerned with political parties and more concerned with how the problem got to be where it is.
May 26, 2007 by J. Barton |  See all 2 posts
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