I rant often about how our entire society seems to have orthorexia (an unhealthy obsession with “healthy” eating that becomes an eating disorder) sometimes: Pajiba people might remember me ranting about it before. We have both strict and ever-changing ideas about which foods are “healthy” and “unhealthy” and love to police ourselves and others for every single aspect of their diets. It’s incredibly frustrating as someone who has made “food does not have a moral value” her motto and who rankles every time someone describes themselves as “being bad” for enjoying a food.
So you’d think this book would be right up my alley: Glassner clearly rankles against this unhealthy obsession with health food too, and does have a good thesis about how we should change how we look at enjoying eating. But this book did not do a good job of presenting this thesis, and is likely to turn people away from the excellent kernel of truth at the base of the work. The book is poorly researched, and seems to have as confused a relationship with research as we do with food: in one chapter Glassner will rant against the very idea of nutrition research, and in the next he’ll cite a nutrition study to prove a claim. It’s poorly organized, jumping from one idea to an unconnected one without explanation, moving from a loving description of a meal Glassner ate to…nothing that’s connected to that meal, really. At one point he includes a subtitle about eggs but does not actually talk about eggs under that heading.
It’s really frustrating to hope for better from a non-fiction book. There should be able to be a way to balance readability with good research: I’ve read books that do it before. This one unfortunately does not.