SCIENCES

Good Food: Can You Trust What You Are Eating?

Good Food: Can You Trust What You Are Eating? Gill & MacMillan. 2014. 212p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780717154258. pap. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780717154265. HEALTH
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McKenna (medical doctor; Hard To Stomach; Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics; Alternatives to Tranquilizers; The Big Fat Secret) has an interesting perspective on the Western diet. Growing up in Ireland's countryside, the author ate minimally processed food rich in protein. After graduating from college he travelled in Africa and returned to Europe in 2002. McKenna was shocked to see the dramatic shift in his country's eating habits since his boyhood. Advancements in chemicals used to promote crop and animal yields plus the so-called low-fat revolution had combined to produce provisions that are highly refined, devoid of nutritive value, and laden with high fructose corn syrup. McKenna believes a better regimen would flip the traditional food pyramid upside down. Fats and oils would form its basis, with proteins and dairy next. Nuts and seeds would follow with fruits and vegetables toward the top. Starches are at the highest point of the structure in this reconfiguration; sugar should be avoided. While McKenna provides references throughout the book, his approach is at times overly rhetorical and heavy-handed. Michael Moss's Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us provides a more compelling treatment of this topic.
VERDICT Recommended for those who are interested in an introduction to the perils of the Western diet.

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