by Marion Nestle
Mar 25 2022

Weekend reading (in French): Mange et Tais-Toi

Serge Hercberg.  Mange et tais-toi: Un nutritionniste face au lobby agroalimentaire. HumenSciences 2022. 285 pages.

The author sent me a copy of this book in optimistic overestimation of my ability to read French.

Well, I can translate the title at least and it’s a great one: Eat and Shut Up: A Nutritionist Faces (Confronts?) the Agribusiness Lobby

But I’d really appreciate an English translation of the book, even though articles in English are readily available.

With that acknowledged, Hercberg is well known for his development and promotion of Nutri-Score, a front-of-package rating system used in Europe.

The letter grades are assigned on the basis of a composite score of healthy (vitamins, fiber, etc) and unhealthy (salt, sugar, etc) components.  They range from from A excellent to E best to avoid.

You can easily imagine that producers of products with low grades dislike this system.  Hercberg’s book, a memoir of his early career, describes his later work in the context of food industry efforts to block use of Nutri-Score.

While I’m on the topic, here are a few recent articles.