Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Food Matters

Food Matters
Author: Mark Bittman
Simon & Schuster, 2009
311 pages

As I've mentioned in my Food for Thought blog, S and I have been on a mostly vegan diet since the first of the year. Our intentions aren't to be vegans (neither of us has the discipline for that) but to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and to eat less dairy and meat - for reasons of health and longevity. In Food Matters (subtitled A Guide to Conscious Eating), Mark Bittman encourages the same thing. But in addition to the health benefits of such a diet, Bittman (an omnivore) promotes the environmental benefits of eating less meat and dairy: if people would reduce their consumption of meat and dairy, agribusiness would be forced to shift toward more environmentally friendly and humane policies, while also allowing for more people in the world to be fed.

Bittman's arguments are nothing new for me. I've been reading books like Diet for a Small Planet and The Food Revolution for fifteen years. Food is a topic that interests me, and so does saving the planet, feeding the hungry, and treating people and animals well. But Bittman sort of puts a new spin on things: instead of saying that everyone should become vegan, he just recommends that we reduce our consumption of meat and dairy. Any reduction (the more the better) is good, he says. 

I like this book because it makes several points without being overly preachy. AND it contains some recipes that I'm looking forward to trying. 

OK, really nothing new for me here, but it was presented a different way, and I'm glad I took the time to read it now. I found it to be . . . motivational!

Rating: 4.25 stars