In her charming way, Wilson sifts through the research on food, genetics, and environment to conclude that nothing innate dooms us to a future of obesity and ill health. Children and adults alike can (re)learn to enjoy a balanced diet, and Wilson provides science-based tips for how to accomplish this. Recommended By Rhianna W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed author of Consider the Fork returns with a major work about the origins of taste, exploring how we learn to love chocolate and loathe Brussels sprouts — and how we can change our habits to lead healthier, happier lives
We are not born knowing what to eat; as omnivores it is something we each have to figure out for ourselves.
From childhood onward, we learn how big a "portion" is and how sweet is too sweet. We learn to enjoy green vegetables — or not. But how does this education happen? What are the origins of taste?
In First Bite, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists, neuroscientists, and nutritionists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a whole host of factors: family and culture, memory and gender, hunger and love. Taking the reader on a journey across the globe, Wilson introduces us to people who can only eat foods of a certain color; prisoners of war whose deepest yearning is for Mom's apple pie; a nine year old anosmia sufferer who has no memory of the flavor of her mother's cooking; toddlers who will eat nothing but hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches; and researchers and doctors who have pioneered new and effective ways to persuade children to try new vegetables. Wilson examines why the Japanese eat so healthily, whereas the vast majority of teenage boys in Kuwait have a weight problem — and what these facts can tell Americans about how to eat better.
The way we learn to eat holds the key to why food has gone so disastrously wrong for so many people. But Wilson also shows that both adults and children have immense potential for learning new, healthy eating habits. An exploration of the extraordinary and surprising origins of our tastes and eating habits, First Bite also shows us how we can change our palates to lead healthier, happier lives.
"[A] well-informed...guide to healthy eating and a well-balanced diet....With generous measures of grounded wisdom and solid research findings, the book should attract and possibly inspire broad groups of readers struggling with eating-related issues." Kirkus Reviews
"First Bite is both a rich social history for those interested in the relationship people have with food and an encouraging word for harried parents hoping to expand their children's culinary horizons." Shelf Awareness
"[A] smart and telling journey that outlines food habits and where they originate....Using brief tales, Wilson details many disorders across the consumption spectrum in an insightful and earnest tone that appeals to food-lovers and parents. Discussing everything from adults with stringent eating patterns to gendered weight misperceptions and changes in cultural norms, Wilson delineates how diets develop and, more importantly, how to make healthy modifications." Publishers Weekly
"Clearly, [Wilson] has not only written a fascinating book about identity and how our tastes and food preferences are formed (and can be changed), she is also truly wise." Bookforum
About the Author
Bee Wilson is an award-winning food writer, historian, and author of four books, including Consider the Fork and Swindled. She has been named BBC Radio's Food Writer of the Year and writes a weekly food column for the Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine. Wilson lives in Cambridge, England.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: LIKES AND DISLIKES
Chapter 2: MEMORY
Chapter 3: CHILDREN'S FOOD
With Birthday Cake
Chapter 4: FEEDING
Chapter 5: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Chapter 6: HUNGER
With Breakfast Cereal
Chapter 7: DISORDER
With Potato Chips
Chapter 8: CHANGE
Epilogue: This is Not Advice