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on July 27, 2003
"Safe Food" is a terrific look at the issues involved in keeping our food supply uncontaminated. It is also a look behind the scenes at how our democracy really works, and it's not a pretty sight. Corporations choosing profits over public health, government representatives more often than not siding with industry rather than consumers, corruption, greed, and ineptitude are all part of this fascinating story. Highly recommended!
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on January 26, 2005
This is a well-written book by an author with experience in both the scientific and public affairs aspects of food quality and safety. Marion Nestle makes an effort to describe the complex scientific procedures associated with foodborne disease investigation, and the creation of bioengineered foodstuffs, reasonably clear to the layman / woman. Her message is simple and direct: as far as US government regulatory agencies, and the food industry itself, are concerned, food safety and wholesomeness is regarded as a secondary consideration to corporate profit. Her thesis is supported by a wide and varied list of references, including the scientific literature, print media, and quotes from participants involved in the struggle to make food safety one of the more urgent issues in contemporary public health. "Safe Food" covers such important topics as the outbreaks of E. coli caused by feces-contaminated ground beef; the ineptly regulated release of genetically engineered crops into farm systems and the spread of transgenes into native species; and the farcical (but ultimately tragic) mishandling of the "mad cow" epidemic by a British government blindly devoted to promotion of the beef industry. In each instance, Nestle documents how the food and agrochemical industries conspired to weaken federal oversight of food safety and quality by manipulating politicians and government officials, all in order to maximize profits.

The book is not perfect; some of the sections describing various scientific procedures may have benefited from the inclusion of explanatory diagrams, rather than somewhat belabored text descriptions. But overall, "Safe Food" is an important and timely book, and one well worth reading by anyone concerned about the quality of the food we eat.
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on April 9, 2015
The well-known academic author is no stranger to the food safety literature. She has written three popular accounts, Safe Food (2003), Pet Food Politics (2008), and Food Politics (2013). As a food insider her exposés are comprehensive, authoritative and uniquely informative.
And Greg Palast fans will be well aware of the corporate malfeasance milieu in the US and as it turns out two of the most egregious and foul government offenders are the FDA and the USDA, each charged with aspects of food safety. Based on past performance there is NO reason to believe any statement, proclamation or promise from these agencies to be anything other than the position statements of industry lobbyists. Big Money will always assure that Big Food and Big Pharma will have their wallets open when any officeholder in Washington knocks on their door. This level of overinfluence, which in most civilized nations would be considered criminal, leaves the lives of millions of US eaters are in the balance and ready for corporate abuse. An Economist review says that her book argues "that America's agribusiness lobby has stifled the government's regulatory power,... and hampered the government's ability to offer sound, scientific nutritional advice."
The industry goal is clearly to encourage eaters to consume more and more, food that is deadlier and deadlier, and regulated less and less. The food wars are much more about how to shave a few pennies off of the price of food no matter what the cost in disease and death. One author called the industry-inspired policy machinations Death by Food Pyramid.
Marion Nestle's book "What to Eat" is also a classic and is frequently cited by Michael Pollan in his writing. Polluted industrialized food is now the norm in markets in the US and is not likely to change any time soon. Countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark have demonstrated that foodbourne illness is controllable with proper oversight and without irradiation (which the FDA now allowing producers to call pasteurization). The recent 2015 New Yorker feature article “A Bug in the System” details just how bad things have gotten and it is no stretch to call current salmonella contamination a form of food bioterrorism.
Scientists playing God are inevitably fallible, a blatant invitation to unintended consequences, undisclosed toxins and allergens. Transgenic "approvals" sent to the grocery store are "Unlabeled, Untested... and Your're Eating It"
Safety alternatives are discussed, but in reality the only immediate practical answer to assure healthy food is locally grown organic farm produce.
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on July 10, 2006
As a food safety trainer I did not realise the rest of what has and is going on to deliberatly sell us food that is not fit for the purpose all in the interest in profit.

One could have doubted what was written but we have just had the blatent disregard for food safety by 'CADBURY' the famous chocolate people claiming that only minute traces of bacteria may be present.

You either have bacteria or no bacteria there is no halfway house, this book will open everyone's eyes.
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on August 14, 2013
I experienced this book as a strong, smart overview on issues of food safety and politics. Marion Nestle, originally trained as a microbiologist, is a highly respected scholar, advocate, and professor of food studies and sociology at New York University. This book is very well written for an audience of curious-minded general readers as well as scholars and students in food studies.
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on March 15, 2013
"Safe Food" is a terrific look at our nation's food supply and its safety. This book covers pathogens, genetic modifications and bioterrorism. It is also a look behind the scenes at how our democracy affects what foods end up on our plates. Corporations choose profits over public health, government sides with industry rather than consumers, corruption, greed, and ineptitude are all part of this fascinating story.

The kindle version of this book is not perfect. Some diagrams and charts were cut off or difficult to follow. Though maybe now slightly out of date, overall, "Safe Food" is an important book, and one well worth reading by anyone concerned about the quality of the food we eat.
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on February 11, 2012
Nestle has made a very well documented case involving safety of food regarding pathogens, GMO, and bioterrorism. Once you've read this book you may be questioning how much power the people actually have regarding our diets and the safety of our diets. If food policy is your interest, you'll learn a lot from this book, if food policy is not your interest- it just may be after reading this.

Well written, well documented, good sources, good case examples.
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on September 16, 2015
Excellent book. Marion Nestle is a rockstar within the food and nutrition world. This is an in-depth look at how our food is produced and distributed. It may shock you, but it will certainly be informative.
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on January 18, 2014
You will never eat pre-packaged hamburger purchased from chain grocery stores again. Nestle's book is a must-read for people who are interested in food policy.
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on August 30, 2014
I HAVE READ ALL DR. NESTLE'S WORKS AND SHE BASICALLY STARTED ME ON THE HEALTHY NUTRITIONAL PATH. SHE IS MY GODDESS.
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