by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Unsavory Truth

Nov 5 2018

Why I so enjoy industry-funded studies

My latest book, Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eatis about food industry funding of nutrition research and why it’s not good for science, public health, or trust.

The book is full of examples, easily recognized by their titles.

I can’t resist showing you the latest example:

The title: Vitamin-supplemented chewing gum can increase salivary and plasma levels of a panel of vitamins in healthy human participants.  Journal of Functional Foods Volume 50, November 2018, Pages 37-44.

The conclusion: “our study demonstrates the potential usefulness of chewing gum as a delivery vehicle for both water- and fat-soluble vitamins.”

Guess who funded this study?  “This work was supported by Vitaball, Inc. (FT. Thomas, KY, USA) and the United States Department of Agriculture.”

Vitaball, you can probably guess, makes vitamin-fortified chewing gum, and one of the study’s authors works for the company.

Want vitamins?  Try food.

Oct 30 2018

Published today! Unsavory Truth!

Now published: my new book about how food company sponsorship of nutrition research affects public health.  For information about the book—blurbs, reviews, tweets, how to get—click here.

For my public speaking engagements about the book, click here.

If you are in New York, join the launch party at NYU today, 5:00 p.m., Bobst Library 3rd floor.  RSVP here.

And here are some early reviews:

Oct 29  Jane Brody.  Confused by nutrition research?  New York Times.

Oct 28  Hailey Eber. How the food industry fooled us into eating junk.  New York Post, 42-43.

Oct 23  Nestle M.  Superfoods are a marketing ploy (excerpt).  The Atlantic .

Oct 22  Àlex Pérez.  Una verdad desagradable no vende.  ElPiscolabis (Spain).

Oct 18 Nature Magazine (2018;562:334-335): Felicity Lawrence reviews Deborah Blum’s The Poison Squad and Unsavory Truth as “Poisoned Platefuls.”

Oct 2  Science Magazine.  Cyan James, “A nutrition expert aims a critical eye at the research and marketing practices of food companies.”

Oct 29 2018

Tomorrow: Unsavory Truth is out

Tomorrow is the official publication date for Unsavory Truth.  Here’s the launch invitation.

For information about the book, click here.

For my other public speaking engagements about the book, click here.

Enjoy!

Oct 22 2018

Unsavory Truth: A peek at chapter 4

I just got an advance copy of my new book about food company sponsorship of nutrition research and its effects on public health—to be published next week on October 30.

To get a taste (sorry) of the book, here are the first two pages of chapter 4.  If you would like to read the Sugar Association’s letter to me and my reply, I’ve included links to them after this excerpt.

Want to read the rest of the letter and my reply?

Oct 15 2018

Unsavory Truth: A peek at page 2

Coming October 30: My new book about food company sponsorship of nutrition research and its effects on public health.

Here’s what page 2 has to say:

Oct 8 2018

Unsavory Truth: the Table of Contents

Coming October 30: My new book about food company sponsorship of nutrition research and its effects on public health.

And here’s what’s in it:

Oct 1 2018

Unsavory Truth: Early reviews

Coming October 30:  My new book about food company sponsorship of nutrition research and its effects on public health.

The Kirkus review (August 1)

A leading nutritionist asks whether consumers can trust highly publicized research into whether food and beverages are healthy and safely produced.

Nestle (Emerita, Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health/New York Univ.; Big Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), 2015, etc.), who has a doctorate in molecular biology and a master’s degree in public health nutrition and has conducted decades of research into food producers, is perfectly positioned for this topic. She makes the convincing case that because so much of the research is paid for by industries that benefit from the results, buyers should interpret the results skeptically. Many of Nestle’s previous books, articles, and academic studies focused on specific types of food. Here, the author turns her attention to large corporations, investigating why they pay for supposedly independent researchers, why the quality of the research might be compromised by conflicts of interests, how consumers can separate reliable science from compromised science, and why consumers should lobby legislators, government regulatory agencies, and universities for reforms regarding the disclosure of conflicts. Nestle emphasizes research paid for and disseminated by the sugar/candy industry, producers of dairy foods, marketers of meat, and—in its own chapter, “A Case Study in Itself”—the soda giant Coca-Cola. Since the author is a prolific nutrition researcher who has accepted funding that could involve conflicts of interest, she admirably scrutinizes her own policies of funding and how she discloses it. Ultimately, researchers must act as ethicists as well as scientists. When her own studies and those of fellow researchers become marketing tools for multinational conglomerates, the author admits that she feels queasy about how consumers might be misled by the marketing. On the other hand, she writes, some studies paid for by industry can be trusted scientifically—and be marketed and advertised responsibly.

Nestle proves yet again that she is a unique, valuable voice for engaged food consumers.

Other early reviews & interviews based on the bound galley proofs

Sept 25 La Stampa (Italy): “I cibi di lunga vita sono illusori e troppi sponsor li promuovono.”

Sept 24  Publishers Weekly: ” a groundbreaking look at how food corporations influence nutrition research and public
policy.”

Aug 13 Booklist review: “This well-documented, accessible venture makes a compelling argument.”

Aug 1  Kirkus review: “Nestle proves yet again that she is a unique, valuable voice for engaged food consumers.”

July 17  Phil Lempert’s Lempert Report: Get ready for a new era of transparency (video)

July 9  David Wineberg, “Nutrition: conflict of interest as a career,” Medium.com.

Feb 12 Finnish Public Radio interview about Unsavory Truth (Google Translate, English)

Jan 31 Profile in New Scientist: The Unpalatable Truth about Your Favorite foods

Sep 24 2018

Unsavory Truth: The Blurbs

Coming October 30: My new book about food company sponsorship of nutrition research and its effects on public health.

Here is what some early readers had to say about it:

“What happens when one of the country’s great nutrition investigators follows the money in food and science? You get this riveting, provocatively-written book, which deftly explores how the processed food industry has deepened our dependence on its products by sponsoring and manipulating food research for decades. This book should be read by anyone who has been seduced by the words, ‘New study shows…’—which is all of us.”  —Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat

“Marion Nestle is a tireless warrior for public health, and her meticulous research and irrefutable arguments are desperately needed right now. This book, as frightening as it is, compels us to discover where true health begins: nutrition starts in the ground, with real food that is sustainably grown, eaten in season, and alive.”  —Alice Waters, founder, owner, and executive chef of Chez Panisse

 “In clear, concise language, Marion Nestle details the many ways our ideas about what to eat are being manipulated by Big Food.  If you want to make better choices, read this book.”  —Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet Magazine

 “Marion Nestle is a national treasure.  She has the courage to take on multinational corporations and the wisdom to separate the facts from the spin.  If you care about our food system and the health of your family, Unsavory Truth is essential reading.”  —Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

“Marion Nestle has been a guiding light for sanity, credibility, and justice in food and nutrition for decades; she stands alone in her field. In Unsavory Truth, she exposes the awful deceptions practiced on eaters by manipulative food companies using ‘scientific research’ try to make themselves look good.”  —Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything

 “Marion Nestle is a truth-teller in a world awash with nutrition lies of one kind and another. In this scintillating and eye-opening book, Nestle reveals how much of our confusion about food in modern times has been spread by the food industry itself, which passes off marketing as science and funds ‘research’ designed to show that its products are harmless. Unsavory Truth is essential reading for anyone in search of hard facts about what to eat.”  —Bee Wilson, author of First Bite and Consider the Fork