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‘At no point in history have edible items been so easy to obtain. Humans have always gone out and gathered food, but never before has it been so simple for us to gather anything we want, whenever and wherever we want it, from sachets of squid ink to strawberries in winter.’ ‘It’s now becoming clear that the way that most people currently eat is not sustainable – either f ‘At no point in history have edible items been so easy to obtain. Humans have always gone out and gathered food, but never before has it been so simple for us to gather anything we want, whenever and wherever we want it, from sachets of squid ink to strawberries in winter.’ ‘It’s now becoming clear that the way that most people currently eat is not sustainable – either for the planet or for human health. If we want to stop getting swallowed up by our own food and to re-establish eating as something that gives us both joy and health, it makes sense to find out where we are right now, how we got here and what it is that we share.’ Why does it no longer seem odd that we’re able to eat sushi in Italy and Neapolitan pizza in Dubai?What has happened to the food we eat to make this possible, and how have these blurred boundaries influenced cultural development, as well as national appetites?From bananas and grapes to ultra-processed snacks, we may not spend enough time thinking about the origins of the food we’re eating, or how their ingredients might have altered over time. In The Way We Eat Now, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson examines the current food climate, exploring how we have found ourselves here, and at what potential cost.The Way We Eat Now also introduces us to the countries and communities that are making revolutionary efforts towards improving their populations’ relationship with food, and considers how we too might re-establish a more balanced connection with what, as well as how, we eat.


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‘At no point in history have edible items been so easy to obtain. Humans have always gone out and gathered food, but never before has it been so simple for us to gather anything we want, whenever and wherever we want it, from sachets of squid ink to strawberries in winter.’ ‘It’s now becoming clear that the way that most people currently eat is not sustainable – either f ‘At no point in history have edible items been so easy to obtain. Humans have always gone out and gathered food, but never before has it been so simple for us to gather anything we want, whenever and wherever we want it, from sachets of squid ink to strawberries in winter.’ ‘It’s now becoming clear that the way that most people currently eat is not sustainable – either for the planet or for human health. If we want to stop getting swallowed up by our own food and to re-establish eating as something that gives us both joy and health, it makes sense to find out where we are right now, how we got here and what it is that we share.’ Why does it no longer seem odd that we’re able to eat sushi in Italy and Neapolitan pizza in Dubai?What has happened to the food we eat to make this possible, and how have these blurred boundaries influenced cultural development, as well as national appetites?From bananas and grapes to ultra-processed snacks, we may not spend enough time thinking about the origins of the food we’re eating, or how their ingredients might have altered over time. In The Way We Eat Now, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson examines the current food climate, exploring how we have found ourselves here, and at what potential cost.The Way We Eat Now also introduces us to the countries and communities that are making revolutionary efforts towards improving their populations’ relationship with food, and considers how we too might re-establish a more balanced connection with what, as well as how, we eat.

30 review for The Way We Eat Now

  1. 4 out of 5

    Luca

    The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson is an insightful and astonishing book about our present-day eating habits. “The story of modern cooking is not a simple tale of decline but a more complex and hopeful one. When we say that ‘no one cooks any more’ we often have in mind a particular version of home cooking that depended on women being confined to a life of unpaid labour. By contrast, the new cooking of our times is done by a wider range of people in a wider range of ways.”(284) When I was about tw The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson is an insightful and astonishing book about our present-day eating habits. “The story of modern cooking is not a simple tale of decline but a more complex and hopeful one. When we say that ‘no one cooks any more’ we often have in mind a particular version of home cooking that depended on women being confined to a life of unpaid labour. By contrast, the new cooking of our times is done by a wider range of people in a wider range of ways.”(284) When I was about two chapters into this book I felt that it was not really addressing something new. I love cooking and estimate that I have a fairly reasonable talent for making sensible choices when it concerns food. Meat is off the limits for me, and I feel that I approach food-related trends with a critical, yet fair mindset. So what was this book offering me that I did not already know? Rather a lot, it turned out! Our modern food culture is based on so many interrelated elements. There will always be elements that you probably would never have considered to be relevant, which turn out to be crucial. From the plates, we put our food on, to initiatives from various countries aimed at improving our diet, Bee Wilson achieved to discuss a great number of important aspects. The book reads a little bit like a collection of separate essays, so you can easily put it down if you feel a little bit overwhelmed. Actually, I think that would even be a good thing because the points that Wilson brings up deserve some thought. She continuously managed to surprise me by related topics, that I was familiar with (tasty videos, meal replacement shakes, and cooking because you enjoy cooking), but would have never thought of as relevant. Now, what is great about The Way We Eat Now is that Wilson never gets judgmental. She never fails to highlight the positive aspects of modern food culture. Especially her section on the phenomenon that we now have a generation that has learned to cook from a screen rather than learning from family members really spoke to me. Change is not always a bad thing. But the one lesson we can derive from this is that we have to be mindful and critical about how change will affect people, our diet, and our planet. After reading The Way We Eat Now it is clear to me that I am not going to change the way how we treat our food by myself, and neither are you. But together we can become more aware of our habits, and eventually push for a more sustainable kind of progress when it comes to improving the way we eat. My rating for this book is 4 out of 5 stars. I received a digital copy of this book for free through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Max

    One of the best books about food and eating I've read. The Way We Eat Now describes our relationship with food in detail, but not in a preachy kind of way. This book is very informative, I've learned a lot of new things about food. The writing style is accessible for a lot of people, and it's easy to read even though you're not very knowledgeable of the topics discussed. I think this is an important book and I hope many people pick it up. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC to rea One of the best books about food and eating I've read. The Way We Eat Now describes our relationship with food in detail, but not in a preachy kind of way. This book is very informative, I've learned a lot of new things about food. The writing style is accessible for a lot of people, and it's easy to read even though you're not very knowledgeable of the topics discussed. I think this is an important book and I hope many people pick it up. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC to read. Opinions are my own!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    A nice survey of the State of Food in the world. Most of the news is bad, of course, and always will be with Big Food (read: corporations) in charge. Monoculture has crept in, erasing many of the lines separating various food cultures, and monoculture is laced with sugar and processed oils and flashy marketing and cheap, genetically-modified wheat and soy and so forth. Bottom line: In some ways we have way, way more choices than our grandparents did, food-wise, but in other ways they ate healthie A nice survey of the State of Food in the world. Most of the news is bad, of course, and always will be with Big Food (read: corporations) in charge. Monoculture has crept in, erasing many of the lines separating various food cultures, and monoculture is laced with sugar and processed oils and flashy marketing and cheap, genetically-modified wheat and soy and so forth. Bottom line: In some ways we have way, way more choices than our grandparents did, food-wise, but in other ways they ate healthier than we do because they didn't have to deal with pesticides, food additives, reindeer games of science and genes, and produce that is puffed up to last as long as possible due to its distant travels. Socio-economics play into the scene, too, of course. It's not by accident that the healthiest foods (e.g. fresh produce) cost more than highly-processed foods. If you're worried about stretching your dollar, you're likely obese. What makes sense economically makes no sense medically. Just about everything you can think of is in here: meals in boxes, the snack bar craze, powdered protein smoothies, marketing to children (with dire results), diseases, detox crazes, diets, food fads, food corruption (where what you think is in the bottle is not in the bottle), the effects of plastic packaging, governmental oversight (Chile wins!) and lack thereof (hello, USA!). Overall, filling and satisfying, though you may wish that some of the many categories went into greater depth, depending on your particular interests.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)

    My response to this analysis of contemporary diet and food culture was...underwhelming, but to some extent that’s due to my familiarity with many of the studies and trends that Bee Wilson covers. If you’re at all interested in these issues it’s likely you’ve heard it all before.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    A wonderful book! Anyone who is concerned about wellness, weight gain, or the environment needs to read this book. Bee Wilson has done a marvelous and comprehensive study of the vast changes in how we eat during the last thirty or so years. She covers it all - grocery stores, vegetable vs. meat consumption, advertising and marketing of food, the new boxed meal kits, and why all these changes took place in the years after WWII. An excellent book, strongly and highly recommended. The author is a t A wonderful book! Anyone who is concerned about wellness, weight gain, or the environment needs to read this book. Bee Wilson has done a marvelous and comprehensive study of the vast changes in how we eat during the last thirty or so years. She covers it all - grocery stores, vegetable vs. meat consumption, advertising and marketing of food, the new boxed meal kits, and why all these changes took place in the years after WWII. An excellent book, strongly and highly recommended. The author is a terrific storyteller, so this book is both informative and a great read. I truly enjoyed it, and it will change how I eat from now on.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ren

    More like 2.5. This feels scoldy, even when I agree with many of her points (but not all...what's with this war on snacks?!) There's a lot of repetition and a bit too much opinion - in a long polemic against bananas in their typical form today (the Cavendish), the author mentions six or seven times how flavorless or bland or bad tasting they are. It's weird. If you don't like bananas, don't buy or eat them. But she does. She just also complains that they're not delicious. I get where it's all com More like 2.5. This feels scoldy, even when I agree with many of her points (but not all...what's with this war on snacks?!) There's a lot of repetition and a bit too much opinion - in a long polemic against bananas in their typical form today (the Cavendish), the author mentions six or seven times how flavorless or bland or bad tasting they are. It's weird. If you don't like bananas, don't buy or eat them. But she does. She just also complains that they're not delicious. I get where it's all coming from - people are overweight and unhealthy and what we eat is killing us, but there's also some talking out of both sides of the mouth here - we have so many options and international cuisines to pick and choose from nearly everywhere, but we have too much choice and that's bad; squash being bred to be smaller and more flavor-dense instead of watery = good, grapes bred to not have seeds or be sour = bad? Also an epilogue that tells us to buy smaller, old-timey dishes feels useless. But it does have some useful and just interesting information, especially about historic diets and changes, and a good but very basic rundown about why clean eating, superfoods, and other food trends are bogus.

  7. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    This is not a recipes book or a diet one, is an interesting survey on what we eat now, and why and mostly it explains why in less than 100 years our eating habits changed so much. I really appreciate the way the author handles the researches and the results without saying what should be better and why, I mean she does it also, but she doesn't do that hiding between the results that she chose to put forward her theory, which is something that usually happens whenever we read about food and all th This is not a recipes book or a diet one, is an interesting survey on what we eat now, and why and mostly it explains why in less than 100 years our eating habits changed so much. I really appreciate the way the author handles the researches and the results without saying what should be better and why, I mean she does it also, but she doesn't do that hiding between the results that she chose to put forward her theory, which is something that usually happens whenever we read about food and all the things that we are not supposed to eat, but still we do. All in all, a very special book about food. Questo non é né un libro di ricette, nè una nuova dieta, é un'osservazione piena di ricerche e studi sull'attuale stato della nutrizione in tutte le parti del mondo e di come le nostre abitudini alimentari siano cambiate in meno di 1oo anni. Quello che ho apprezzato particolarmente dell'autrice, é stato il suo modo di illustrare tutte le ricerche e non solo quelle che lei ritenevano fossero piú utili a portare avanti il suo punto di vista, o un tipo di alimentazione rispetto ad un'altra, e questo non capita di solito in questo tipo di libri, dove gli autori sono soliti portare l'acqua al loro mulino ignorando risultati che non confermano le loro teorie rispetto a cosa sia il caso di mangiare e cosa sia meglio evitare. Tutto sommato un ottimo libro sul cibo. THANKS NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debbi

    If you love food writing and are interested in global food issues much of this information will be familiar. I am sure Bee Wilson could teach a great food history class, she is knowledgeable and invested in her subject, but unfortunately on occasion had to pinch myself to stay awake.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Philippa

    An insightful and engrossing read for anyone interested in food, food culture and the sustainability of how it is produced and consumed. Bee Wilson has thoroughly researched this subject and some of the points she makes are quite jaw-dropping. We are now a very time-poor (or lazy) society that prioritises ease instant gratification and choice over sustainability and long-term health and prosperity and this has made us, despite living in an era of great abundance (which is not, as the book also g An insightful and engrossing read for anyone interested in food, food culture and the sustainability of how it is produced and consumed. Bee Wilson has thoroughly researched this subject and some of the points she makes are quite jaw-dropping. We are now a very time-poor (or lazy) society that prioritises ease instant gratification and choice over sustainability and long-term health and prosperity and this has made us, despite living in an era of great abundance (which is not, as the book also goes into detail about, sustainable), very unhealthy. It makes me more determined than ever to stay away from the drive-thru (though Bee writes very compassionately about why this is such a compelling choice for so many people) and eat seasonally, locally and consciously. I know it's the most obvious pun but this is a book that will give you much food for thought!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    This has been enlightening. I've audibly exclaimed a few times and forced Richard to stop what he's reading/doing and listen while I read bits to him. There is a great final chapter with tips for change in it as well. As a result of reading this I've had my first try at making my own granola - then I have one meal that I can know exactly what has gone into it. I'm fortunate enough to live in a city full of good food options and variety so making some changes is possible quite easily. I recognise This has been enlightening. I've audibly exclaimed a few times and forced Richard to stop what he's reading/doing and listen while I read bits to him. There is a great final chapter with tips for change in it as well. As a result of reading this I've had my first try at making my own granola - then I have one meal that I can know exactly what has gone into it. I'm fortunate enough to live in a city full of good food options and variety so making some changes is possible quite easily. I recognise others are not that easily served.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Bee Wilson has a way with words and manages here to get across an important concept that is not earth shattering to anyone involved in public health but is diametrically opposed to what one hears all the time about obesity: namely that weight is simply a question of individual willpower to eat less and move more. Wilson illustrates how absurd that is in the context of massive global forces affecting what we eat. In terms of what to do, she points to some international stories of success or promi Bee Wilson has a way with words and manages here to get across an important concept that is not earth shattering to anyone involved in public health but is diametrically opposed to what one hears all the time about obesity: namely that weight is simply a question of individual willpower to eat less and move more. Wilson illustrates how absurd that is in the context of massive global forces affecting what we eat. In terms of what to do, she points to some international stories of success or promise: South Korea, Chile, Denmark, Amsterdam, illustrating how effective solutions to the obesity epidemic need to be multifaceted, big picture, long-term.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    I think Wilson does a fantastic job of being conversational and understandable but still being knowledgeable and citing her sources. It’s a hard balance to strike sometimes. I think she does a particularly good job of showing that obesity isn’t the willpower problem that society often tries to pass it off as. It’s so many other things in your environment that influence your food options and choices.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Interesting information, a little preachy at times

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Bee Wilson is an author of several other why/how we eat books. Here, she systematically documents the global trends that have shaped how we eat, from the not so good (too much ultra processed food with resulting obesity and related ill-health) and some good (reclaiming a love of cooking, expansion of availability of local foods). I was surprised about the lists of countries with the healthiest diet patterns. I enjoyed the discussion how the timing of eating in different groups affects their over Bee Wilson is an author of several other why/how we eat books. Here, she systematically documents the global trends that have shaped how we eat, from the not so good (too much ultra processed food with resulting obesity and related ill-health) and some good (reclaiming a love of cooking, expansion of availability of local foods). I was surprised about the lists of countries with the healthiest diet patterns. I enjoyed the discussion how the timing of eating in different groups affects their overall diet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emanuel

    There's an excerpt at the back cover that reads "this book should be required reading for everyone." I couldn't agree more. Such a thought-provoking book that deals with a universal act played out every single minute somewhere in the world, and yet not many of us realise the forces behind it. The Way We Eat Now highlights some key moments in the food transition with plenty of examples and research and backed by scientific evidence without ever sounding formal or academic of even preach-y. If you There's an excerpt at the back cover that reads "this book should be required reading for everyone." I couldn't agree more. Such a thought-provoking book that deals with a universal act played out every single minute somewhere in the world, and yet not many of us realise the forces behind it. The Way We Eat Now highlights some key moments in the food transition with plenty of examples and research and backed by scientific evidence without ever sounding formal or academic of even preach-y. If you're remotely interested in what goes on your plate, why or what you eat the way you do or simply want to get a very interesting insight in the food/diet/nutrition movement, I'd highly recommend picking this up.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Hagerty

    I picked this up after reading an Atlantic article discussing it and a few related titles. I was disappointed, mostly because Wilson's comments about how we should eat are uninformed. This book is really just an extended opinion piece rather than an evidence-based assessment of what is wrong with our food system and our diets. To be fair, Wilson isn't a nutritionist and doesn't pretend to be, and her goal is to make sweeping statements about the global food system. And she does helpfully point o I picked this up after reading an Atlantic article discussing it and a few related titles. I was disappointed, mostly because Wilson's comments about how we should eat are uninformed. This book is really just an extended opinion piece rather than an evidence-based assessment of what is wrong with our food system and our diets. To be fair, Wilson isn't a nutritionist and doesn't pretend to be, and her goal is to make sweeping statements about the global food system. And she does helpfully point out the perniciousness of the spread of processed foods and oils.But she makes a lot of wrongheaded statements. Though some are couched as opinions, they still come across as if they are based on evidence (though they are not). For instance, she says (p. 214):To me, eating more vegetarian meals—but not exclusively so—feels like a pragmatic path through the jungle of modern food options. . . . 'Only buy the best meat you can afford, grass-fed for preference,' say a host of experts on ethical eating. [No source cited!] . . . For me, the best compromise has been to make meat a smaller element than it used to be in my family's eating without eliminating it altogether.First, a lot of experts on "ethical eating" would say eating animals is unethical. And setting ethics aside, meat is unhealthy, period. Read How Not to Die by Michael Greger or Dean Ornish's work or the work of Neal Barnard and the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine and you will realize that the best science shows that meat, dairy, and eggs promote a host of illnesses and have no dietary upside. So reducing meat is better than not doing so—but eliminating it is even better. Wilson, however, implies that eating some meat is somehow preferable to being vegan, and that is simply not true.To take another example, in the epilogue where she does actually give diet advice, she says (pp. 300-01):For most of us, a less meat or less sugar diet is easier to achieve than one without any meat or sugar at all. . . . What does a healthy pattern of eating look like? Many nutritionists advocate the Mediterranean diet, consisting of olive oil, fish, nuts, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Others prefer the newer concept of a Nordic diet, a sustainable way of eating rich in berries and dark grains such as rye, barley, and oats; rapeseed oil; and oily fish such as herring and salmon. But those of us who live neither in the Mediterranean nor [in] Scandinavia may have to invent our own patterns of eating. Fumiaki Imamura told me that since moving to the United States and Britain from Japan, he had asked many people what a healthy local diet looked like 'and no one has been able to answer me.' The fact that no one can yet identify a healthy American diet is worrying, but you could also see it as an opportunity. The future of our diets is a blank slate on which we are free to write our own rules.This is really a pernicious and wrongheaded message. First, so what if it's "easier" to reduce meat and sugar than to eliminate it? No kidding! It's also easier to eat fast food than to cook a meal. I don't need a journalist to tell me it's easier to do the unhealthy thing than the healthy thing. More important, Wilson should not be perpetuating the myth that nutrition is some confusing, trackless wilderness that we must get through based on our intuition. It is simply not true that "no one can yet identify a healthy American diet." And of course, diets are a "blank slate" only if you don't care what science tells us about what we should be eating. Science tells us to eat a whole-food plant-based diet, with minimal (or no) refined oils and sugar. Science does not tell us that we should be eating oil or fish. Again, the work of Neal Barnard and the Physician's Committee on Responsible Medicine is helpful here, and he has a great short video explaining that a vegan diet is healthier than the Mediterranean diet.In short, though some aspects of this book are useful, much of the information in it is just intuition, sentiment, and guesswork, and some of it is flat wrong. I think the wrong information outweighs what is useful, and I do not recommend it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Chase

    I gave up on this about halfway through, because it was more polemic than informative for someone who is basically interested in food. There are a few nuggets - like the idea that the original sort of banana tasted much better than the modern Cavendish - but it is horribly padded. A low point was taking 5 pages to explain repeatedly that our satiety response doesn't seem to react to liquids. There are also a few lines that might actually have gone in interesting directions - eg the throwaway ide I gave up on this about halfway through, because it was more polemic than informative for someone who is basically interested in food. There are a few nuggets - like the idea that the original sort of banana tasted much better than the modern Cavendish - but it is horribly padded. A low point was taking 5 pages to explain repeatedly that our satiety response doesn't seem to react to liquids. There are also a few lines that might actually have gone in interesting directions - eg the throwaway idea that diet drinks are no better than sugary ones for prediabetic people. But this was just dropped. Why? What are the confounding factors in such a study? The result just seems like fetishisation of historic ways of eating, rather than a real review of the science. There are others - for example, after asserting that soybeans were planted in Brazil to improve the soil between wheat crops, the book then talks about how soybeans are very fertilizer intensive. Possibly the fertilizer is potassium and phosphorous rather than the nitrates fixed by soybeans, but this seemed an incongruous barrier to actually believing this. Anyway, just not information dense enough.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    “Our food system is currently full of mismatches. Some of these mismatches are cultural, as we fail to adapt to the new realities of eating in a age of abundance. Our food culture remains too mysty-eyed about sugary food, for example. We haven’t adjust to the fact that sugar is no longer a rare and and special celebration food, worthy of devotion. Nor have we yet modified our attitudes towards those who are overweight and obese, to reflect the fact that these people are now in the majority.” (pp “Our food system is currently full of mismatches. Some of these mismatches are cultural, as we fail to adapt to the new realities of eating in a age of abundance. Our food culture remains too mysty-eyed about sugary food, for example. We haven’t adjust to the fact that sugar is no longer a rare and and special celebration food, worthy of devotion. Nor have we yet modified our attitudes towards those who are overweight and obese, to reflect the fact that these people are now in the majority.” (pp.75-76) Incredibly eye-opening. This is a book to read now. Bee Wilson invites you into the current food scenario. She makes you see how our relationship with food is constantly changing and how difficult it can be to adapt in a mindful way. The book presents itself with a handfull of Economics, History, Sociology, Gastronomy, Health, Education and much more (in an easy and pleasent writing to follow). I would definitly reccomend this book for a non-fiction reading in 2019.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cara M

    A well written and interesting book, like all of her books. A indictment of transnational capitalism for sure. (It is really clear that there is no such thing as a capitalist country, there are only countries where capitalism thrives. Like any invasive weed, eventually it will destroy the nation-state it purportedly belongs to.) There was a lot of overlap with First Bite, as really is expected, since both are about the food culture of today, but they also had different information. I was interest A well written and interesting book, like all of her books. A indictment of transnational capitalism for sure. (It is really clear that there is no such thing as a capitalist country, there are only countries where capitalism thrives. Like any invasive weed, eventually it will destroy the nation-state it purportedly belongs to.) There was a lot of overlap with First Bite, as really is expected, since both are about the food culture of today, but they also had different information. I was interested to find out about the fad food adulteration and would love a follow up to Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee—The Dark History of the Food Cheats (My favorite of her books), focusing on coconut water and pomegranate juice and the rest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Math Yoda

    The book contains a lot of general knowledge that you already know about but that you put it at the back of your head. It’s like there’s a kid in some chasm in your mind hiding that when you read the book it’s like a gate has been opened and you’re like “oh there’s a kid! I knew there was one somewhere here” d’yall get it? It’s like you know it all along and this book just reminds you of it. It’s such a very comparative study of the then and now. I mean we get it from the title that basically th The book contains a lot of general knowledge that you already know about but that you put it at the back of your head. It’s like there’s a kid in some chasm in your mind hiding that when you read the book it’s like a gate has been opened and you’re like “oh there’s a kid! I knew there was one somewhere here” d’yall get it? It’s like you know it all along and this book just reminds you of it. It’s such a very comparative study of the then and now. I mean we get it from the title that basically there will be comparisons of then and now, between this country and that. But it’s too descriptive for me. I think. It’s almost as if in every chapter or paragraph, you get these comparisons,some too subjective. At some parts it kinda gets a bit opinionated-y but I don’t know if that’s the author’s approach though. It was nice and informative read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Woo! Bee Wilson is my GIRL. Kickstarted by dating a decade long vegan boi, I have been much more interested in why I eat what I eat, how food impacts us culturally, socioeconomically, and physically. As someone who pretty much vacuum inhaled a bowl of popcorn while 3 episodes into the new season of Queer Eye last night, I clearly don't have the best eating habits all the time. I enjoyed how Wilson talks about how food changes have rapidly occurred over the last few decades and the implications o Woo! Bee Wilson is my GIRL. Kickstarted by dating a decade long vegan boi, I have been much more interested in why I eat what I eat, how food impacts us culturally, socioeconomically, and physically. As someone who pretty much vacuum inhaled a bowl of popcorn while 3 episodes into the new season of Queer Eye last night, I clearly don't have the best eating habits all the time. I enjoyed how Wilson talks about how food changes have rapidly occurred over the last few decades and the implications of these large changes. Everything felt very thoroughly researched and covered and I was pumped!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    An interesting read, but somehow also a bit offputting. I haven't read Bee Wilson's books before, but somehow, though she repeatedly says she's not putting blame on individuals for obesity, the book as a whole comes across as being judgmental. I can't quite put a finger on how; just some of the turns of phrase, I suppose. The bit about eating off of smaller plates at the end is such classic weight loss advice I rolled my eyes a bit. With that said, it is an interesting exploration of what we eat, An interesting read, but somehow also a bit offputting. I haven't read Bee Wilson's books before, but somehow, though she repeatedly says she's not putting blame on individuals for obesity, the book as a whole comes across as being judgmental. I can't quite put a finger on how; just some of the turns of phrase, I suppose. The bit about eating off of smaller plates at the end is such classic weight loss advice I rolled my eyes a bit. With that said, it is an interesting exploration of what we eat, and how we eat it, with some investigation into the why. Overall recommended, although I thought Pressure Cooker, by Sarah Bowen et al., was more engaging.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I really hoped this book would be more readable like Consider the Fork. Unfortunately, it is a very dense non-fiction and reads more like a thesis. I skimmed it thru anyway to get some of the more salient points from the book. Fads like Pomegranate and Coconut create a world shortage and cheating shortcuts. Much of the food we produce today has been genetically altered and often times chemically altered as well. The hurried lunch hour does our bodies no favors. What's up with food shakes/drinks/ I really hoped this book would be more readable like Consider the Fork. Unfortunately, it is a very dense non-fiction and reads more like a thesis. I skimmed it thru anyway to get some of the more salient points from the book. Fads like Pomegranate and Coconut create a world shortage and cheating shortcuts. Much of the food we produce today has been genetically altered and often times chemically altered as well. The hurried lunch hour does our bodies no favors. What's up with food shakes/drinks/bars as meal replacements? They are full of sugar and we are fooling ourselves when eating them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lori Kincaid Rassati

    This is the natural progression of books which tell us what is so messed up about the typical Western diet and how that dysfunction is spreading across the world. Wilson does a great job, though, of giving hope about our diets and giving us grace to not beat ourselves up if we can't cook and feed our families the way that our grandmothers did. She seems bent on giving us permission, if you will, to keep what worked in the past along with what works today while discarding those things which don't This is the natural progression of books which tell us what is so messed up about the typical Western diet and how that dysfunction is spreading across the world. Wilson does a great job, though, of giving hope about our diets and giving us grace to not beat ourselves up if we can't cook and feed our families the way that our grandmothers did. She seems bent on giving us permission, if you will, to keep what worked in the past along with what works today while discarding those things which don't. I always find this subject fascinating, and this book did not disappoint.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tom Brennan

    I appreciate the insight and the balance of Wilson's work. The balance is seen in her writing - she addresses a wide range of topics and subjects in relation to food - but it is seen in her philosophy of food - a sound rejection of fad diets, super foods, and other silver food bullets. Her insight is seen as she exposes how radically different we eat today from how we used to eat, how that is changing us, and how we in turn can change that. This is a not a knee-jerk, reactionary, liberal, hippie, I appreciate the insight and the balance of Wilson's work. The balance is seen in her writing - she addresses a wide range of topics and subjects in relation to food - but it is seen in her philosophy of food - a sound rejection of fad diets, super foods, and other silver food bullets. Her insight is seen as she exposes how radically different we eat today from how we used to eat, how that is changing us, and how we in turn can change that. This is a not a knee-jerk, reactionary, liberal, hippie, anti-capitalist book. It is a thoughtful work. And it helped me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    DNF Guess I've been more immersed in the food science/nutrition world than I thought because this book wasn't presenting any ideas I haven't heard before (some of which felt more opinion based than on facts tbh). Based on what I've read so far, I really don't think I'll get much out of this one. I'm always happy when people take steps to be more aware of the world around them, so I'm glad some folks were able to get something out of this read. Unfortunately, it just didn't match up to what I was DNF Guess I've been more immersed in the food science/nutrition world than I thought because this book wasn't presenting any ideas I haven't heard before (some of which felt more opinion based than on facts tbh). Based on what I've read so far, I really don't think I'll get much out of this one. I'm always happy when people take steps to be more aware of the world around them, so I'm glad some folks were able to get something out of this read. Unfortunately, it just didn't match up to what I was looking for.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joana

    This was very interesting and comprehensive. As many other reviewers pointed out it is also not accusatory or shaming (unless you're a company trying to sell us unhealthy processed food), but helpful and respectful of different context. In my opinion, it could perhaps do with a little extra editing as it was very long and things tended to repeat themselves. But I highly recommend it if you're interested in food: it will make you want to cook and eat (better).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jemma

    Really enjoyed reading this book and it opened my eyes to many things I didn’t know before. I like that this book doesn’t come across as preachy. It also doesn’t suggest a diet plan. It’s full of factual information about the culture of food and how we eat. Worth a read if you are at all interested in food or nutrition.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carman Chew

    Never would I have thought that I'd be so fascinated by a book on food but from beginning until end, she raises poignant point after point. a truly thought-provoking book that will change the way you eat and think about food.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    There's some interesting parts of this book, for sure. It wasn't quite what I was expecting - it felt more personal and sometimes scolding than I'd expected, not as historic/academic. But it was overall an interesting, easily understandable discussion of food.

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