Synopses & Reviews
From the award-winning champion of culinary simplicity who gave us the bestselling How to Cook Everything
and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
comes Food Matters
, a plan for responsible eating that's as good for the planet as it is for your weight and your health.
We are finally starting to acknowledge the threat carbon emissions pose to our ozone layer, but few people have focused on the extent to which our consumption of meat contributes to global warming. Think about it this way: In terms of energy consumption, serving a typical family-of-four steak dinner is the rough equivalent of driving around in an SUV for three hours while leaving all the lights on at home.
Bittman offers a no-nonsense rundown on how government policy, big business marketing, and global economics influence what we choose to put on the table each evening. He demystifies buzzwords like "organic," "sustainable," and "local" and offers straightforward, budget-conscious advice that will help you make small changes that will shrink your carbon footprint — and your waistline.
Flexible, simple, and non-doctrinaire, the plan is based on hard science but gives you plenty of leeway to tailor your food choices to your lifestyle, schedule, and level of commitment. Bittman, a food writer who loves to eat and eats out frequently, lost 35 pounds and saw marked improvement in his blood levels by simply cutting meat and processed foods out of two of his three daily meals. But the simple truth, as he points out, is that as long as you eat more vegetables and whole grains, the result will be better health for you and for the world in which we live.
Unlike most things that are virtuous and healthful, Bittman's plan doesn't involve sacrifice. From Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing to Breakfast Bread Pudding, the recipes in Food Matters are flavorful and sophisticated. A month's worth of meal plans shows you how Bittman chooses to eat and offers proof of how satisfying a mindful and responsible diet can be. Cheaper, healthier, and socially sound, Food Matters represents the future of American eating.
"Cookbook author Bittman (How to Cook Everything) offers this no-nonsense volume loaded with compelling information about how the food we eat is doing damage to the environment, what changes to make and why. Authors have covered this topic before (Michael Pollan, for example, in The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food), but Bittman takes a practical turn by concluding with 77 recipes that make earth-friendly eating doable and appealing. His collection of reliable recipes even includes such meat dishes as Thai beef salad, which isn't meat-heavy, but rather has 'just the right balance of meat to greens.' There are also such staples as super-simple mixed rice; 'chicken not pie'; and modern bouillabaisse. Bittman decries consumption of 'over-refined carbohydrates,' but doesn't leave off without some sweets, including chocolate semolina pudding and nutty oatmeal cookies suggesting, as the whole book does, that a diet in synch with the needs of the earth doesn't result in a sense of utter deprivation." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Only America could produce a Mark Bittman....Bittman's fame will generate lots of attention, and his commonsense advice, while not new, bears the hallmarks of contemporary nutritional wisdom." Booklist
"Like Michael Pollan in In Defense of Food, Bittman takes a commonsense approach, telling readers that it's simple to eat well: Just 'eat less meat and junk food, eat more vegetables and whole grains.' Indeed, Food Matters reads like a practical companion to Pollan's book." Fuchsia Dunlop, The Washington Post
About the Author
Mark Bittman is the author of Food Matters, How to Cook Everything and other cookbooks, and of the weekly New York Times column, The Minimalist. His work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines, and he is a regular on the Today show. Mr. Bittman has hosted two public television series and has appeared in a third.