By Mark Bittman
Published by: Pam Krauss Books
256 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Since his New York Times op-ed column debuted in 2011, Mark Bittman has emerged as one of our most impassioned and opinionated observers of the food landscape. The Times’ only dedicated opinion columnist covering the food beat, Bittman routinely makes readers think twice about how the food we eat is produced, distributed, and cooked, and shines a bright light on the profound impact that diet—both good and bad—can have on our health and that of the planet.

In A Bone to Pick, Mark’s most memorable and thought-provoking columns are compiled into a single volume for the first time. As abundant and safe as the American food supply appears to be, the state of our health reveals the presence of staggering deficiencies in both the system that produces food and the forces that regulate it. Bittman leaves no issue unexamined; agricultural practices, government legislation, fad diets, and corporate greed all come under scrutiny and show that the issues governing what ends up in our market basket and on our tables are both complex and often deliberately confusing. Unabashedly opinionated and invariably thought provoking, Bittman’s columns have helped readers decipher arcane policy, unpack scientific studies, and deflate affronts to common sense when it comes to determining what “eating well” truly means. As urgent as the situation is, Mark contends that we can be optimistic about the future of our food and its impact on our health, as slow-food movements, better school-lunch programs, and even “healthy fast food” become part of the norm. 

REVIEW: “Mark Bittman is one of the country’s best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, has over million copies in print, mandatory of the modern kitchen.”

He opens up by talking about the American food system and how it’s broken; how food is processed; consumed’ how it affects our health and the environment.  He brings up points that need to be assessed and factored into fixing our current food system.

This book is a compilation of thought-provoking columns which appeared in the New York Times in his weekly opinion column and the rest are from Sunday magazine. These articles explore a wide range of topics as vast and varied as food itself…”The problems are numerous and complex”, the author states….”We need activists on all levels, people doing the right thing independently of government, and that goes from cooking regularly, to making sure school lunches aren’t poison to labor organizing to supporting farmers.”

This author has six chapters the first one is titled Big Ag, Sustainability, and What’s in between Topics discussed in this chapter are: Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World; That flawed Stanford Study; Not All Industrial Food is Evil; Abundance Doesn’t Mean Health.

Chapter Two titled What’s Wrong With Meat? – Some topics discussed; We’re Eating Less Meat. Why?;

Chapter Three titled What is Food? And What is Not? - Topics discussed; Make Food Choices Simple: Cook; What Is Food?; Is “Eat Real Food” Unthinkable?; It’s The Sugar, Folks; Farmers’ Market Values

Chapter Four titled The Truth About Diet(s); (Only) Two Rules For a Good Diet; What Causes Weight Gain?; Got Milk?;You Don’t Need It.

Chapter Five titled The Broken Food Chain; 11 Trillion Reasons

Chapter Six titled Legislating and Labeling; Bad Food? Tax it, and Subsidize Veggies

There are about 12 or so articles under each chapter title I’ve only mentioned a few articles that jumped out at me. The author then ends this book talking about Some progress on Eating and Health – Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled? – Hunger in Plain Sight and Don’t End Agricultural subsides, fix them and Fixing our Food Problem.

This book opened my eyes to things I didn’t even know where going on with food. This book is an essential resource “for every reader eager to understand not only the complexities inherent in the American food system, but also the many opportunities that exist to improve it.” This author is not shy about sharing “the good and bad news about food, with wisdom and advice on diets, food safety, GMO’s, farming and so much more.”

My eyes are open. I don’t look at food the same way. This author has awakened me to the issues happening today and how I can get involved to impact my children, grandchildren for generations to come for good. He showed how it takes all of us to improve the food system.

I'm thankful to the Blogging for Books Program for the complementary copy of this informative book. I was given this for my honest opinion.

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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