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Fear of Food A History of Why We Worry About What We Eat by Harvey A. Levenstein
  

Fear of Food A History of Why We Worry About What We Eat

Synopsis

Fear of Food A History of Why We Worry About What We Eat by Harvey A. Levenstein

There may be no greater source of anxiety for Americans today than the question of what to eat and drink. Are eggs the perfect protein, or are they cholesterol bombs? Is red wine good for my heart or bad for my liver? Will pesticides, additives, and processed foods kill me? Here with some very rare and very welcome advice is food historian Harvey Levenstein: Stop worrying! In Fear of Food Levenstein reveals the people and interests who have created and exploited these worries, causing an extraordinary number of Americans to allow fear to trump pleasure in dictating their food choices. He tells of the prominent scientists who first warned about deadly germs and poisons in foods, and their successors who charged that processing foods robs them of life-giving vitamins and minerals. These include Nobel Prize - winner Eli Metchnikoff, who advised that yogurt would enable people to live to be 140 by killing the life-threatening germs in their intestines, and Elmer McCollum, the discoverer of vitamins, who tailored his warnings about vitamin deficiencies to suit the food producers who funded him. Levenstein also highlights how large food companies have taken advantage of these concerns by marketing their products to combat the fear of the moment, from the co-opting of the natural foods movement to the Mediterranean Diet. In Fear of Food , Levenstein offers a much-needed voice of reason; he expertly questions these stories of constantly changing advice to reveal that there are no hard-and-fast facts when it comes to eating. With this book, he hopes to free us from the fears that cloud so many of our food choices and allow us to finally rediscover the joys of eating something just because it tastes good.

Reviews

When it comes to food, there are two large categories of eaters: those who do not worry about what they eat but should, and those who do worry about what they eat but should not. In Fear of Food, Harvey Levenstein focuses on the latter group, taking readers through a succession of American fads and panics, from an epidemic of 'germophobia
at the start of the twentieth century to fat phobia at its end. He exposes the instigators of these panics: not only the hucksters and opportunists but also the scientists and health experts

. (Times Literary Supplement)


About the Author

Harvey Levenstein is professor emeritus of history at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He has published a number of books on American history, including Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet and Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th April 2013

Author

Harvey A. Levenstein

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Publisher

University of Chicago Press an imprint of The University of Chicago Press

Format

Paperback
228 pages

Categories

Food & society
Social & cultural history

ISBN

9780226054902

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