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Publisher's Summary

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.

This book is published by University of California Press.

©2002 Marion Nestle (P)2010 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Combining the scientific background of a researcher and the skills of a teacher, Nestle has made a complex subject easy to understand." ( New York Times)
"If you eat, you should read this book." (Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation)
"Controversial... Dishes up many of the industry's dirtiest secrets: how multinational companies spend billions to convince us that unhealthy foods are good for us and lobby the government to sway dietary regulations and subsidies in their favor." ( Village Voice

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dakota
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 09-26-10

Excellent except for one thing... okay, maybe two

This book is great, the reader is great, it's super informative and interesting but there is one irritating thing that is making me really wish I had bought this as a real, live book instead.
You see, this book is abridged. I didn't realize that when I bought it... my bad.
It's very poorly done. I'm only two (?) hours through it and I've noticed two or three obvious breaks. One where she was going to talk about Ancel Keys' and his influence on the saturated fat debate and it completely cut to something else. That is, unfortunately, something that I really wanted to hear about.
Actually, there is one other issue with this audio book that I did not realize until the intro was read; apparently the text version has a very extensive and meticulous reference section.
In all, if you don't have time to actually read this book, then get this. Otherwise, you should buy the text version.

On the other hand, maybe if an unabridged version comes out, Audible will refund our money for this version and we can buy the complete one (*wink-wink, nudge-nudge*).

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Walter
  • Towson, MD, United States
  • 05-29-11

Mostly very good, diet advice dated

The book does an excellent job of exposing the corrupting power of big money both on nutrition research and the ability of authorities to give intelligent nutrition advice. Even the abridged version was at times long-winded.

The book was more about process than about what makes good nutritional sense. It took the FDA's food pyramid as gospel, though many now think its heavy focus on grains leads to increased inflammation and excessive carb consumption with associated adverse health consequences. There is also little talk of the value of omega 3's. On the other hand, the book speaks of the danger of higher dose vitamin D without noting its potential benefits or the ability to maintain safety through blood testing.

The book a little naively seems to think that if the FDA would just be left in peace, it could be relied on to give optimal nutrition advice. In fact, the area is complex, many topics lack consensus, and gross error have been made. Remember margarine? Why anyone ever thought consuming a synthetic fat made sense is beyond me. Further, given the difficulty in getting funding for supplement research and how long it takes the research to come to definitive conclusions, one can reasonably decide to take supplements before all of the research is in. On the other hand, the book correctly notes that it hardly makes sense for supplement manufacturers to be able to come out with products without safety testing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Keys is still influencing nutritionist

It is a shame that after 30 years as a major influence to the SAD, Ms Nestle only understands the term nutrition as it pertains to the 1970's. When she speaks about lobbyists, she talks softly and carries no weight.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too much outdated nutrition theory.

Nestle is mired in outdated nutrition theory, like meat, saturated fat and salt are bad for our health, and the best way to lose weight is to cut calories and fat. I was hoping she would focus more on the sugar and grain lobbies, which obviously have had and continue to have far more pull in dictating what we eat. Skip this and get Nina Teicholz's The Big Fat Surprise - she actually knows what she's talking about.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Felt like a boring academic lecture

I was really excited to read this book and learn more. The writer is a professor, and the writing is very academic and very boring. I almost couldn’t stand to listen to it the whole time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Monique
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 04-02-13

Lots of Facts, lacks narrative.

What did you like best about Food Politics? What did you like least?

This is book is written with lots of facts and an unbiased view. However, this is very difficult to listen to because it lacks a narrative. The theme of the book is carried without but, it is very easy to put down. Perhaps I would have been more excited if the information presented was "new" information to me.

Did Kate Reading do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Any additional comments?

I would recommend any of Michael Pollan's books over this one. His books drive action around eating and food choices. This book is more of a reference for a white paper or essay.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • B
  • 04-10-12

Enjoyable listen

Would you listen to Food Politics again? Why?

Yes. There's a ton of good, insightful information in there. I listened to it in on 1.5 to 2x about a month or more ago, so I could definitely benefit from another listen through in a few months or so if not sooner.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook really opened up my eyes to the many different motives behind all the food information and mis-information out there. I really appreciated the added perspective and am so glad I got to listen to it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 04-10-11

Interesting subject but hard to listen/read

Was just too boring. Rambled on and on about same subject. After the initial chapters, felt I was repeating the same chapter over and over.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Yep, it's politics.

What would have made Food Politics better?

It would have been better if it did not have an east coast liberal agenda.

What could Marion Nestle have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The book is dated. She's pushing a vegetarian agenda and making any other opinion the bad guys. I expected coverage of the sins of all food lobbyists. I didn't expect the book to have a political agenda of its own.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Reading?

I have always loved Kate Reading when she reads about India. Shall I say this isn't her cup of tea? I guess I would have cast a woman with a harsher, more vindictive, lobbyist voice.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Nope.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. P. J. Bellchambers
  • 04-13-13

Food - not just for eating....

I am now more involved with food and the idea of politics and food before I became a chef was not on my radar. I now see and understand the issues around food, sourcing, supply, pricing, safety, marketing etc and have to find ways to deal with them in my daily life.

The insights that Marion has are useful and real! Its an interesting and sometimes difficult read but it does highlight some of the issues we all need to think about and even make decisions on ourselves when it comes to food.



Well done!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Reg
  • 06-21-17

very good book

Everyone who eats food should read this. Even if it is a few years old, everything still applies to this day.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Allan Hviid Jensen
  • 04-27-16

Disappointing

Some interesting stories on lobbyism and politics. However it is filled with outdated references to the importance of sticking to the food pyramid, load up on carbohydrates, avoid fat, especially saturated fat and target lower total cholesterol/ldl.

I recommend you check out Nina Teicholz's Big Fat Surprise instead.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful