Food and Nutrition Controversies Today: A Reference Guide

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Is any food safe? Will mad cow disease kill us all? How many calories are really in your restaurant Caesar salad? Modern consumers are besieged with conflicting messages about food and nutrition, making it difficult for the lay person to know what to believe. This no-nonsense resource explores the latest controversies in the field of food and nutrition, presenting readers with the varying opinions and underlying facts that fuel these debates. Fifteen chapters focus on hot topics like organic food, bottled water, and deadly bacterial outbreaks as well as lesser known issues such as food irradiation, vitamin supplementation, animal growth hormones, and more.

One of the few resources of its kind, this informative reference is perfect for high school and college students and the conscientious consumer. Since most books on food and diet approach the issues with a clear agenda, this work's unbiased tone and evenhanded treatment of information make it a particularly valuable tool. Features include a detailed index, 20 black and white illustrations, and a rich and deep bibliography of print and electronic materials useful for further research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an unbiased, evenhanded introductory discussion of 16 food-related subjects—ranging from antioxidants, various diets, and fats to food labeling, genetically modified/engineered foods, and life-enhancing/life-threatening foods. "


Library Journal

"This reference guide for general readers, students and scholars of food and nutrition studies concentrates on 16 controversies that range from the relationship between food inspection standards and food poisoning outbreaks to reaching a consensus about healthy diets. Myrna Goldstein, an author who specializes in health issues, has teamed with Mark Goldstein (Chief, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital) to investigate all viewpoints for such nutrition-related topics as the value of antioxidants, the dangers of fast food, food labeling and the effectiveness of many popular diets. Each chapter includes a conclusion from the authors, topics for further discussion and extensive reference and resources."


SciTech Book News

VOYA - Beth Karpas
While touted as a reference guide, and most likely to be read selectively, this volume is a surprisingly easy and fluid read. Well written, it complements many popular works such as Omnivore's Dilemma (Penguin, 2007/VOYA February 2010) and Fast Food Nation (Harper Perennial, 2005), yet is broader. It addresses food production and dietary choices, research on vitamin supplements, various diets, and importation of food for people and animals. The book looks like the reference manual it is, but it reads like a popular nonfiction volume, or a series of nutrition stories on NPR. Unfortunately, the volume is poorly edited. For instance, the name of the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, is spelled incorrectly at every reference in chapter 2. This glaring error makes one wonder about other facts and statistics mentioned—are they accurate? Other chapters have grammatical errors—"evident that the there is often" (p. 69)—and confusing typos—"Oak milk was found to lower ?cholesterol'" (p.161). The logical arguments in each chapter make sense, and statements are well-documented with footnoted quotes, scientific studies, and statistics—they carry the authority of the volume when the copy editing falls down. One final observation—the book has many black-and-white photographs; however, they do not add to its value. For instance, a black-and white bottle (label illegible) with the caption "The red color of this soda . . . " serves little purpose other than to break up the text and confuse the reader. In such a readable volume, the photos are unnecessary. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
Library Journal
This is an unbiased, evenhanded introductory discussion of 16 food-related subjects—ranging from antioxidants, various diets, and fats to food labeling, genetically modified/engineered foods, and life-enhancing/life-threatening foods. While accurate and current, this title would have been more useful had the authors expanded coverage of such issues as Vitamin D, calcium, and Mad Cow Disease rather than simply updating and reprinting some of the chapters from their 2002 book of the same name. Although there is no indication that this is a second edition of the earlier work, both books have striking similarities when it comes to coverage, format, and organization. The authors have previously collaborated on Controversies in the Practice of Medicine. BOTTOM LINE A few typographical errors aside (e.g., "whine" is used for wine), this is likely to be of interest to high school, public, and junior college libraries that do not already own the 2002 title. Purchase where needed.—Laurie Selwyn, formerly Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313354021
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,029,951
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MYRNA CHANDLER GOLDSTEIN has been a freelance writer and independent scholar for two decades. Her website is Doing Good, While Doing Business: Support Socially Responsible Companies ( She is the author of Boys into Men, Controversies in Food and Nutrition and Controversies in the Practice of Medicine with Greenwood Press.

MARK A. GOLDSTEIN, M.D. is is a pediatrician at Newton Wellesley and Massachusetts General hospitals as well as a Consultant in Adolescent Medicine at McLean Hospital. With Chandler Goldstein, he is the co-author of Controversies in the Practice of Medicine (Greenwood, 2001) and Boys into Men: Staying Healthy Through the Teen Years (Greenwood, 2000).

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Table of Contents





Bottled Water

Fast Food



Food Labeling

Genetically Engineered Dairy Products

Genetically Modified Foods

Hidden Ingredients

Imported Food

Life-Enhancing/Life-Threatening Foods

Not Just Cows Milk

Organic Foods

Popular Diets

Raw Food

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

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