Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Review: "Food Politics" by Marion Nestle

After reading several books on veganism and farming, I was looking for a book that could give me a broad, overall understanding of the laws regarding food in this country. I was disappointed by the lack of choices I could find on Amazon, and Marion Nestle's Food Politics seemed like the best option.

The book began by presenting an idea that really struck me: there is a huge problem with food over-production in this country. To compensate for the huge supply and cheap prices of corn and soy, food companies process these plants multiple times- the more processed the food, the more they can charge. Think about it- foods like cereals, pop-tarts, chips, etc. are made up of very cheap ingredients (corn, soy, sugar, salt) and are sold for far more than the sum of these ingredients alone.

The book focused on specific topics, like advertising to children, junk food/sodas in schools, Olestra, etc. instead of giving me an overall understanding of the USDA and FDA like I had hoped. I would still recommend it- and though it was originally published over ten years ago, Nestle had added to the end, discussing the Obama administration.

She has a number of other books I'm going to look at- I am especially interested in reading Pet Food Politics.