Food politics [electronic resource] : how the food industry influences nutrition and health /
Marion Nestle ; foreword by Michael Pollan.
Revised and expanded 10th anniversary ed.
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2013.
xxii, 510 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
0520275969, 9780520275966
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2013.
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction: The food industry and "eat more". -- Part 1: Undermining dietary advice. From "eat more" to "eat less," 1900-1990 ; Politics versus science : opposing the food pyramid, 1991-1992 ; "Deconstructing" dietary advice -- Part 2: Working the system. Influencing government : food lobbies and lobbyists ; Co-opting nutrition professionals ; Winning friends, disarming critics ; Playing hardball : legal and not -- Part 3: Exploiting kids, corrupting schools. Starting early : underage consumers ; Pushing soft drinks : "pouring rights" -- Part 4: Deregulating dietary supplements. Science versus supplements : "a gulf of mutual incomprehension" ; Making health claims legal : the supplement industry's war with the FDA ; Deregulation and its consequences -- Part 5: Inventing techno-foods. Go forth and fortify ; Beyond fortification : making foods functional ; Selling the ultimate techno-food : olestra -- Conclusion: The politics of food choice -- Afterword: Food politics : ten years later and beyond -- Appendix: Issues in nutrition and nutrition research.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 425-486) and index.
A Look Inside
Flap Copy
"In this fascinating book we learn how powerful, intrusive, influential, and invasive big industry is and how alert we must constantly be to prevent it from influencing not only our own personal nutritional choices, but those of our government agencies. Marion Nestle has presented us with a courageous and masterful exposé."--Julia Child "This remarkable book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand how it has come to be that the richest nation in the world is eating itself to death. . .. Straight reporting about the shaping of food policy, as this volume makes clear, is certain to offend some very powerful players."--Joan Dye Gussow, author of This Organic Life "Food politics underlie all politics in the United States. There is no industry more important to Americans, more fundamentally linked to our well-being and the future well-being of our children. Nestle reveals how corporate control of the nation's food system limits our choices and threatens our health. If you eat, you should read this book."--Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation "'Blockbuster' is one of the best ways that I could describe this book. . .. A major contribution to understanding the interaction of politics and science, especially the science of nutrition, it is of extreme value to virtually all policy makers and to everyone concerned with the American diet."--Sheldon Margen, editor of the Berkeley Wellness Letter "A devastating analysis of how the naked self-interest of America's largest industry influences and compromises nutrition policy and government regulation of food safety. . . . A clear translation of often obscure studies and cases, the writing is accessible and lively."--Warren Belasco, author of Appetite for Change
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-10-01:
Nestle's well-researched book raises important points and delineates nutritional problems. However, Nestle tries but fails to present both sides of an issue equitably. Her most balanced portrayal concerns the dietary supplement issue. The look at political forces shaping important nutritional canon, e.g., the Food Guide Pyramid, is thought-provoking. Nestle (New York Univ.) offers a number of important suggestions to improve health by reducing portion size and overcoming exercise impediments. However, many solutions will not be practical, such as choosing only locally grown produce--a great suggestion for Florida, but it could result in scurvy in winter in the Dakotas. She proposes that educational materials have no industry logos and that there be no industry funded research. Fine in Utopia, but translated this means significantly less research and virtually no company-produced educational materials. Her accusations--that ties between nutrition scientists and organizations with industry foster a covert bias--in this reviewer's view is her "blind side." She wants the food industry to change, yet her anti-industry bias prevents her from acknowledging that industry alliances with those with knowledge is part of the answer. Thus, she outlines the problems but must do more to produce viable solutions for a healthier nation. ^BSumming Up: Optional. All levels. J. M. Jones College of St. Catherine
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-02-15:
Nestle (chair, nutrition and food studies, NYU) offers an expos of the tactics used by the food industry to protect its economic interests and influence public opinion. She shows how the industry promotes sales by resorting to lobbying, lawsuits, financial contributions, public relations, advertising, alliances, and philanthropy to influence Congress, federal agencies, and nutrition and health professionals. She also describes the food industry's opposition to government regulation, its efforts to discredit nutritional recommendations while pushing soft drinks to children via alliances with schools, and its intimidation of critics who question its products or its claims. Nestle berates the food companies for going to great lengths to protect what she calls "techno-foods" by confusing the public regarding distinctions among foods, supplements, and drugs, thus making it difficult for federal regulators to guard the public. She urges readers to inform themselves, choose foods wisely, demand ethical behavior and scientific honesty, and promote better cooperation among industry and government. This provocative work will cause quite a stir in food industry circles. Highly recommended. Irwin Weintraub, Brooklyn Coll., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Main Description
We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. The abundance of food in the United States--enough calories to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child twice over--has a downside. Our overefficient food industry must do everything possible to persuade people to eat more --more food, more often, and in larger portions--no matter what it does to waistlines or well-being. Like manufacturing cigarettes or building weapons, making food is very big business. Food companies in 2000 generated nearly $900 billion in sales. They have stakeholders to please, shareholders to satisfy, and government regulations to deal with. It is nevertheless shocking to learn precisely how food companies lobby officials, co-opt experts, and expand sales by marketing to children, members of minority groups, and people in developing countries. We learn that the food industry plays politics as well as or better than other industries, not least because so much of its activity takes place outside the public view. Editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, Nestle is uniquely qualified to lead us through the maze of food industry interests and influences. She vividly illustrates food politics in action: watered-down government dietary advice, schools pushing soft drinks, diet supplements promoted as if they were First Amendment rights. When it comes to the mass production and consumption of food, strategic decisions are driven by economics--not science, not common sense, and certainly not health. No wonder most of us are thoroughly confused about what to eat to stay healthy. An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics will forever change the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. By explaining how much the food industry influences government nutrition policies and how cleverly it links its interests to those of nutrition experts, this pathbreaking book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.

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