Food Facts (or Fiction?)

Hi. My name is Katharine, and I'm a lazy eater.

Although I don't cook or eat like my parents did (in my family, grease was a vegetable), I'm not as careful as I should be about my diet. This makes me feel kind of guilty, but not ashamed enough to always choose cabbage over croissants, or to go without sugar and half-and-half in my morning coffee. I do like vegetables, and fruits, and chicken, and legumes, and I love red meat, sugar, and (thank you, Mom and Dad) grease. I finally decided to take a peek at what's being said about good nutrition and trendy diets, to see if it was really necessary to change my ways.

Fear of Food

This is the book that sparked my interest in ambiguities of nutritional science. Who knew that “scientific” studies might be (gasp!) subjective? For example, one nutritional movement stated that cow’s milk was bad. A few years later, another study discovered that cow’s milk is good. Bread and grains? Meats versus legumes? Eight glasses of water a day? All of these ideas are open to interpretation, and sometimes it’s big business or “the government” who are pushing for one food over another.

The Big Fat Surprise

In the 50 years since the American Heart Association began recommending a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, the obesity rate among adult Americans has doubled. We’ve replaced animal fats with vegetable fats – artificial fat, if you will – and the overall results have not been as rosy as predicted. (Other formats: eBook, audiobook CD, or downloadable audiobook.)


Conversations about American culture and food culture, with marketing and customization and the outsourcing of our meals. An interesting take on what grabs our attention, the urgency of advertisements, and our own best nutritional intentions. (Other formats: eBook, audiobook CD, or downloadable audiobook.)

The Tastemakers

David Sax discusses the flavor trends that drive our menus. Who would have thought that twenty seconds of televised cupcake-eating would make them a semi-gourmet "thing"? How did the quirky pomegranate make its way into the superfood scene? And which chef will craft the next culinary tsunami? (Also available as an eBook.)