Deciding what to eat is no longer a simple matter of instinct and appetite. Every choice we make about the food we put on our plates is complicated. Is meat good or bad for me? Is buying local always best? Is organic worth it? WHAT TO EAT? asks all these questions and more: some are specific, going back to the nature of particular foods such as milk, meat and fish. Some are more general and challenging, examining the green and the good at a time when money is short and choices matter. The book also offers answers. This is a refreshingly practical guide to the stuff of every day living, from the ingredients up: the cereals for breakfast; the cheese and tomato in a high-street sandwich; the sausages for supper. Journeying through science, nature and the dark arts of the food industry, Hattie Ellis exposes the myths and unveils the truth about how food is produced, what gives us most value for money, what it does to us, and what we have done to it. By the end of each chapter, and of the book as a whole, we find solutions to each of our food dilemmas, and discover a way to feed ourselves that is good - good value, good for the planet and, of course, good to eat.
Food has become very complicated. It used to be just the stuff
on our plates. Helping after helping was put on a fork and swallowed.
But now we sit down to plates piled high with issues.
Food is bad for you; for other creatures; for the planet. Or conversely,
particular ingredients are praised to the skies as miracles
that will cure every ill. Buy some pricey goji berries and live
We live in the midst of a stream of fast-moving media delivering
headline after headline of competing claims. The juicy steak
for supper comes from a cow fed on soya grown in destroyed
rainforest; the juicy steak is delivering much-needed iron and
energy to make you zoomy and bright. The anchovies on your
pizza are threatening the ecology of the oceans. But then oily
fish also provide essential, healthful fats. The beans in your daily
cups of coffee grind down the poor and damage your nerves;
but coffee-growing helps the economies of the most deprived
countries in the world and coffee protects you from cancer and
depression. The wheat in your loaf is drenched in fungicide and
sends your glycaemic index soaring. Then again, bread is a goodvalue
carbohydrate that is the founding block of a healthy food
pyramid. Fruit is good and cheering; but can it be local when
less than 10 per cent of British fruit is home-grown? White
meat good; red meat bad – but is grass-fed lamb better for you
than grain-fed poultry? Now we need to follow what the animals
eat as well. Aaaagggggghhhhhhhh!
Belief after belief comes and goes, without the time or chance
to digest chapter and verse of each new gospel. Just when you
start to get to grips with one dilemma, another grabs your attention,
and yet another expert gives an entirely different answer.
They speak the last word. Until you hear the next.