A Bone to Pick: The good and bad news about food, with wisdom and advice on diets, food safety, GMOs, farming, and more

A Bone to Pick: The good and bad news about food, with wisdom and advice on diets, food safety, GMOs, farming, and more

by Mark Bittman


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Since his New York Times op-ed column debuted in 2011, Mark Bittman has emerged as one of our most impassioned and opinionated observers of the food landscape. The Times’ only dedicated opinion columnist covering the food beat, Bittman routinely makes readers think twice about how the food we eat is produced, distributed, and cooked, and shines a bright light on the profound impact that diet—both good and bad—can have on our health and that of the planet.

In A Bone to Pick, Mark’s most memorable and thought-provoking columns are compiled into a single volume for the first time. As abundant and safe as the American food supply appears to be, the state of our health reveals the presence of staggering deficiencies in both the system that produces food and the forces that regulate it. Bittman leaves no issue unexamined; agricultural practices, government legislation, fad diets, and corporate greed all come under scrutiny and show that the issues governing what ends up in our market basket and on our tables are both complex and often deliberately confusing. Unabashedly opinionated and invariably thought provoking, Bittman’s columns have helped readers decipher arcane policy, unpack scientific studies, and deflate affronts to common sense when it comes to determining what “eating well” truly means. As urgent as the situation is, Mark contends that we can be optimistic about the future of our food and its impact on our health, as slow-food movements, better school-lunch programs, and even “healthy fast food” become part of the norm.

At once inspiring, enraging, and enlightening, A Bone to Pick is an essential resource for every reader eager to understand not only the complexities inherent in the American food system, but also the many opportunities that exist to improve it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804186544
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 05/05/2015
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 707,741
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

MARK BITTMAN is one of the country’s best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with over a million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen, and his manifesto on pursuing a part-time vegan diet, VB6, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Bittman's writings on food policy and cooking appear in the Dining, Op-Ed, and Magazine sections of the New York Times.

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Excerpted from "A Bone to Pick"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Mark Bittman.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction x

A Food Manifesto for the Future xiii

1 Big Ag, Sustainability, and What's In Between

How to Feed the World 2

Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World 7

Pesticides: Now More Than Ever 10

That Flawed Stanford Study 13

A Simple Fix for Farming 17

Not AH Industrial Food Is Evil 20

Local Food: No Elitist Plot 24

Lawns into Gardens 27

Celebrate the Farmer! 30

Abundance Doesn't Mean Health 33

2 What's Wrong with Meat?

Rethinking the Meat Guzzler 38

We're Eating Less Meat. Why? 43

Banned from the Barn 46

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others 49

On Becoming China's Farm Team 52

Should You Eat Chicken? 55

A Chicken Without Guilt 59

3 What Is Food? And What is Not?

Make Food Choices Simple: Cook 66

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? 69

What is Food? 74

Is "Eat Real Food" Unthinkable? 77

Why Won't McDonald's Really Lead? 80

Parasites, Killing Their Host 83

Yes, Healthful Fast Food & Possible. But Edible? 86

It's the Sugar, Folks 94

Is Alzheimer's Type 3 Diabetes? 97

Cereal? Cookies? Oh, What's the Diff? 100

Farmers' Market Values 103

4 The Truth About Diet(s)

(Only) Two Rules for a Good Diet 108

What Causes Weight Gain 111

Which Diet Works? 114

Will China Defeat Obesity? 117

Butter Is Back 120

Can You Eat Too Little Salt? 123

Got Milk? You Don't Need It 127

More on Milk 130

Dietary Advice for the Gluttony Season 133

When Diet Meets Delicious 136

Finding Your Comfort Food 140

The Frankfurter Diaries 143

Bagels, Lox, and Me 146

Why I'm Not a Vegan 149

5 The Broken Food Chain

Dietary Seat Belts 154

11 Trillion Reasons 157

The Right to Sell Kids Junk 160

¡Viva México! 163

Bacteria i,F.D.A.o 167

E. Coli: Don't Blame the Sprouts! 170

The F.D.A.'s Not Really-Such-Good News 173

The 20 Million 179

Fast Food, Low Pay 182

The True Cost of Tomatoes 185

6 Legislating and Labeling

Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables 190

Some Progress on Rating and Health 196

Why Do GMOs Need Protection? 200

Why Aren't GMO Foods Labeled? 204

Leave "Organic" Out of It 207

My Dream Food Label 210

Rethinking the Word "Foodie" 214

Hunger in Plain Sight 217

Can Big Food Regulate Itself? Fat Chance 220

Tobacco, Firearms, and Food 223

Don't End Agricultural Subsidies, Fix Them 227

Stop Subsidizing Obesity 230

Fixing Our Food Problem 233

A Few Final Thoughts

Why Take Food Seriously? 238

Do Sweat the Small Stuff 241

Acknowledgments 245

Index 247

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