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California Studies in Food and Culture #3: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutritionby Marion Nestle
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"A courageous and masterful exposé."--Julia Child
"If you eat, you should read this book."--Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics laid the groundwork for today's food revolution and changed the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. Now, a new introduction and concluding chapter bring us up to date on the key events in that movement. This pathbreaking, prize-winning book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.
About the Author
Marion Nestle is Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. Author of Nutrition in Clinical Practice (1985), she has served as a nutrition policy advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a member of nutrition and science advisory committees to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. She is the author of Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (California, 2003).
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Food Industry and "Eat More"
Undermining Dietary Advice
1. From "Eat More" to "Eat Less," 19001990
2. Politics versus Science: Opposing the Food Pyramid, 19911992
3. "Deconstructing" Dietary Advice
Working the System
4. Influencing Government: Food Lobbies and Lobbyists
5. Co-opting Nutrition Professionals
6. Winning Friends, Disarming Critics
7. Playing Hardball: Legal and Not
8. Starting Early: Underage Consumers
9. Pushing Soft Drinks: "Pouring Rights"
Deregulating Dietary Supplements
10. Science versus Supplements: "A Gulf of Mutual
11. Making Health Claims Legal: The Supplement Industrys
War with the FDA
12. Deregulation and Its Consequences
13. Go Forth and Fortify
14. Beyond Fortification: Making Foods Functional
15. Selling the Ultimate Techno-Food: Olestra
Conclusion: The Politics of Food Choice
Appendix: Issues in Nutrition and Nutrition Research
List of Tables
List of Figures
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