We're obsessed with food: obsessed with what to eat, what not to eat, and how much to eat. Three of my top five books deal with our eating habits, often in humorous ways; one of my top five is an eye-opening look at the way our food comes to us; and my other my top pick is simply an excellent cookbook.
Nothing causes us more anxiety than deciding what to eat. Spoiled for choice, we often settle for the lowest common denominator: convenience. But convenience comes at a moral and ecological price. Pollan takes us on an unsettling journey into what we eat, focusing on the origins of four meals. In doing so, we catch an alarming glimpse of what farming has become and what organic really means. Thanks to the commoditization of corn, and our dependence on oil, we are more removed than ever from the true sources of food. If you think that being corn-fed is wholesome, this book will make you think again.
We make around 200 food-related decisions each day, most of which are subconscious, and few of which are related to how hungry we are. Like it or not, were gullible and suggestible when it comes to food. Think you're immune? If you've ever found yourself finishing your kids' leftovers, or if you regularly scoop up every last piece of soggy cereal at the bottom of your bowl, snacked straight from the box, or eaten lunch in front of the computer or TV, you're guilty of mindless eating. But you'd never eat a bucket of stale popcorn, would you? Wansink begs to differ.
According to Roizen and Oz, the real weapon against fat is knowledge. The more we know about how our bodies work, the easier it is to reprogram our eating and exercise habits, and shrink our waists. The emphasis here is on waist size rather than weight. Abdominal fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat because of its proximity to essential organs. So put away the scale and find a tape measure. Roizen and Oz take us on a witty and informative voyage through our bodies to explain how and why fat is stored or burned, and give us the tools we need to eat and exercise our way to a smaller waist and better health.
Janice Taylor's weight yo-yo'd until she discovered Our Lady of Weight Loss, an inspirational voice that helped her channel her food cravings into artistic creations. Ms. Taylor lost 50 pounds in the process. This funny and original self-help book approaches weight loss in an unorthodox way, yet manages to provide a clear motivational message, as well as tips, low-fat recipes and much more.
When the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine publish a lower-fat cookbook, you can be sure that every one of its recipes has undergone hours if not days of rigorous testing in the 2,500 square-foot kitchen, that's home to America's Test Kitchen, a popular public-television show that features Christopher Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated. Producing The Best Light Recipe was no small undertaking. Even those unfamiliar with the mission of Cook's Illustrated will get the general idea from the question asked on the book's cover: "Would you make 28 light cheesecakes to find the one youd actually want to eat?"