Wednesday 24 November 2010

Eat your heart out - book review

Today I want to tell you all about the book that I have been reading. It is a fascinating expose called Eat Your Heart Out by Felicity Lawrence, the lady who wrote the book Not On The Label, which described the awful ways that our food is produced. Her new book is about the economic, political and cultural reasons that these methods of production have evolved.

It is a fascinating read and a real eye opener. Amongst such stunning facts as cereal originally being invented as a cure for masturbation (lack of moral and dietary fibre), it also reveals the horrendous sleights of hand (aka lies) prevalent in our foodsystem. For example probiotic drinks are predominantly sugary milk designed to 'add value' to dairy products and many of them don't even have added 'good bacteria'. Most of our meat is also treated with potassium nitrates to give them that healthy pink glow, unfortunately these chemicals are also carcinogenic... and cereal has to contain large quantities of sugar otherwise it would taste worse than the cardboard box it comes in!

The book is divided into chapters on different food types - cereal, milk, vegetables, pigs etc - but the further through the book you get the more similarities you start to notice between the different food stuffs. Most of the problems seem to stem from the 'race to the bottom', where processing companies try and consolidate and cut costs in an attempt to become as 'efficient' as possible, so that they can stand up to the dictatorship of retail giants who currently control the market. This combined with distorting subsidies and manipulation of consumers through advertising explains a lot of our current situation. So you can't help but draw the conclusion that smaller, less intensive, more localised food production would be a better alternative.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with any interest in where their food comes from and how it is produced. I definitely won't be eating cereal again and I may have to find an alternative source of milk.

Photo: Front cover (

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