by Marion Nestle
Jul 8 2011

Books about food politics: continued

A few more for summer reading pleasure and enlightenment (for others see previous post):

Poisoned, Jeff Benedict, Mariner 2011: I blurbed this one: “In telling the entwined stories of childhood victims of food poisoning and the lawyers [Bill Marler et al!] wrangling over just compensation, Poisoned is a fast-paced thriller, a riveting illustration of how the political—in this case, the inadequate food safety system—becomes personal.”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices, Lisa Abend, Free Press, 2011. What is a book about the celebated Spanish restaurant El Bulli doing on a food politics list?  Abend is a terrific reporter who spent a year observing how the place runs: almost entirely on the labor of dozens of food professionals who gave up their real jobs to work for six months at a time as unpaid volunteers.   The cooks are essentially piece workers.  They never see or taste the final dishes served in the restaurant.

State of the World, 2011, Worldwatch Institute. The 2011 annual report focuses on “Innovations that nourish the planet”—anti-hunger and farming projects throughout the world that are successfully improving the health of people and the planet.  Read and be inspired!

Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook, Andrews McMeel, 2011. This book is a welcome expansion of Estabrook’s stunning, prize-winning article in Gourmet.   Estabrook writes a compelling account of the injustices and social costs of industrial tomato farming to farm workers and to the environment.  We could and should do better, and Estabrook explains how.  Tomatoland scored a rave review in the New York Times, most deservedly.

…And for the under 2 set:

Rah, Rah, Radishes: A Vegetable Chant, April Pulley Sayre, Beach Lane, 2011:  It comes with gorgeous photographs of vegetables and could be fun to read to little kids:

Oh boy,

Bok choy!

Brussels sprout.

Broccoli, cauliflower.

Shout it out!

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  • pediatrician77

    Legendary children’s chant:

    “Beans, beans. The magical fruit. Makes your pants go rooty-toot-toot!”

    Rah, rah, let it out with the broccoli and cabbage!!

    (No “gorgeous photogaphs” with this one…thankfully. No open flame, either)

  • scholarwatch

    Excellent book selection for summer reading. A well educated population eats better, there’s no doubt about that. Keep up the good work Marion. And a well educated populace is good for democracy, a concept which is under extreme stress here in America.

    may I suggest “How we decide” by Jonah Lehrer? It is fascinating to learn how we make decisions about food (and other things) because, frankly, the opinion industry gets paid a lot of money to tell us to do their bidding. (to say nothing of smear campaigns, of which Dr Nestle is currently under attack here on this blog from my doppelganger.)

    Keep up the good work Dr Nestle. You rock.

  • scholarwatch

    Reading is fundamental to intellectual growth.

    Do NYU grads read? Does any stodgy vestigial academic reauirement for reading and comprehension linger at the “science” department at NYU? Dreaming and bluffing are so much easier, at least in public health and nutrition. Don’t need no stinkin’ reading list for that!

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  • Here in CA we said “Beans, beans – the musical fruit – the more you eat, the more you toot! the more you toot, the better you feel, so let’s have beans with every meal!”

    Popular chant AND food of younguns who don’t much care for flesh foods, so fortunately those beans are protein-rich!