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Eat Your Heart Out: Why the food business is bad for the planet and your health [Paperback]

Felicity Lawrence
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Jun 2008

Why is it...

That almost all the processed foods we eat contain the same handful of ingredients?That these handful of ingredients are produced by only a handful of multi-nationals?

That some cereals contain more salt per serving than a packet of crisps?That served with milk, sugar and raisins, some cardboard packets have been said to be more nutritious than the cereal they contain?

That there are half the number of dairy farms in the UK than there were 10 years ago?That over the same period the turnover of the top 20 global dairy corporations has increased by 60%?

That over 60% of all processed foods in Britain contain soya?That the UK government's Committee on the Toxicity of Food judged that eating soya could have hormone-disrupting effects?

That in 1970, a hundred grams of an average chicken contained less than 9 grams of fat, but today it contains nearly 23 grams of fat?That the amount of protein in that chicken has fallen by more than 30%?

That children aged 4-14 in the UK get 16-17% of their daily calories from processed sugars?That the World Health Organisation's recommended limit is 10%?

That industrialised farming uses 50 times more energy than traditional farming?That livestock farming creates greater carbon emissions than all of global transport put together?That some salmon farmers dye their fish?That sugar could be as bad for you as tobacco?That you might have been better off eating butter rather than margarine all along?That industrial processing removes much of the nutritional value of the food it produces?That by changing our diets we could reduce cancers by a third?That corporations are shaping our bodies, our minds and the future of the planet?

Eat Your Heat Out explains how big business took control of what we eat – and why so few of us even noticed. Crossing the globe in search of agribusiness's darkest secrets, Felicity Lawrence uncovers some startling facts and stomach-churning figures. Essential reading for anyone who cares about their health and our planet.

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Eat Your Heart Out: Why the food business is bad for the planet and your health + Stuffed and Starved: From Farm to Fork the Hidden Battle for the World Food System
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (26 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141026014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141026015
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I can't remember when a book made me more angry. Lawrence's book should be compulsory reading . . . nothing is what it says on the packet (Allison Pearson, On Not On The Label Evening Standard )

Challenges each and every one of us to think again about what we eat. It's almost like uncovering a secret state within the state (Andrew Marr, Bbc Radio 4's Start the Week )

I can't remember when a book made me more angry. Lawrence's book should be compulsory reading (Allison Pearson, On Not On The Label Evening Standard )


'Essential reading'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake up! 26 Aug 2008
By Lester
I found this book informative, revelatory and utterly compelling. You should definitely read it if you'd like to know more about how our food is adulterated beyond belief by the handful of faceless transnational corporations who control a vast amount of our food chain. The corollary of their unceasing quest to increase the "value added" to their products is that our food is nutrient-depleted to such an extent that we'd be better off eating the packaging their expensive, processed junk comes in.

I too found this a better read than "Not On The Label" in that it explained more thoroughly the health implications of moving away from a diet that has evolved naturally over several thousand years to one that was artificially manufactured in the second half of the last century - seemingly not in the best interests of consumers but rather to line the pockets of agribusiness and to further the geo-political aims of successive American and European governments. There's plenty of "and now the science bit" but, whilst being quite detailed, I never found it difficult to follow.

Before reading "Eat Your Heart Out" I felt a growing uneasiness about the direction our over-processed, convenience-led food supply was taking us. Now I feel much more informed about the damage that is being done to our health and society.

This book will open your eyes and may even radicalize you a little. It really is breathtaking what has happened to our diets in the course of just a few decades. Thankfully, the author remains (just) optomistic that we've not passed the point of no return, and that a deal of the damage can be undone. But that's gonna have to start with individuals changing their buying habits and modifying their lifestyles. "Eat Your Heart Out" explains exactly why you should start today.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory Reading 3 Jan 2009
Some reviewers have commented that this book is not as good as Felicity Lawrence's 'Not On The Label'. I would recommend both - they complement each other well, dealing with all manner of issues surrounding food production and consumption. Eat Your Heart Out is, of course, more up to date, but it's fair to say that little has really changed since Not On The Label was published and they cover differest aspects of a very big subject.

This book ties in so many aspects of a system that we should all know and care about, not least because it depends so heavily on exploitation, messes up the environment, is unsustainable and serves up a food that is simply not very good for us (despite the way it's advertised). If that all sounds a bit left-wing and radical-veggy, then I would add that one of the most shocking apsects is how tax-payers on both sides of the Atlantic are having to fork out for massive (and damaging) subsidies that don't actually seem to help those who really need it.

Felicity Lawrence does a great job of tying together the complex issues in a very readable way. Highly recommended - this really will change the way you think about food.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant 31 July 2008
By Bert
I loved this book. I was engrossed from the very first page, and the more I read, the more I was appalled at state of the world's food systems. I am simply shocked at the modern day slavery, and the embarrassing inabilities of our governments to be able to control corporate power or even obtain taxes from these giants.
I liked the combination of economics, ethics, politics and food and nutrition in this book. I couldn't really get into Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate because I thought I already shopped ethically and healthily. However reading this has changed my view of everything, I can see how everything is linked, where those who control us are headed, and how it's not in the direction I would like.
Saddened and frustrated, I am also inspired to become pro-active and change what piece of the world I can. I am determined to stop any more of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest by soya growing corporate giants, and to end the mafia run slavery in Italy, where our tomatoes are farmed.
I think to draw my own conclusions from this book that there must be a radical reform to our own political systems. Capitalism has it's benefits, but it should never have been limitless. I think capitalism needs to be capped in order to control growth, and empower the social ethics that are so key to quality of life. I have never understood why people are so obsessed with the bottom line, even to the point where they destroy their own earth. For this to happen though it would mean that politicians would need to be more powerful than corporations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 13 Oct 2011
Vital reading for everyone who eats. We need to know what we are putting in our mouths. After reading this book you will be motivated to avoid processed foods and cook from natural ingredients. You will learn how the multi nationals and food processing industry exploit us the consumers and the workers in the whole food chain. read this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory, as always. Outstanding journalism 11 Jan 2011
By SuReads
Felicity Lawrence is an exceptional reporter.

Who else has the courage, tenacity and erudition to publish such a book?

Please read it. And her column in The Guardian.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 5 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once again Felicity Lawrence has given us a book which should be required reading for everyone who eats. She has outdone herself this time with the detail and scope of her investigations into how food is produced, how it is packaged and shipped, and on the strangle hold that three food corporations and the supermarkets have on what we eat. The section on soya was especially shocking and if you are a vegetarian or vegan you absolutely must read this section. Her first book prompted me to make many changes in how I shop. This book has shocked me into a complete re-evaluation of what I actually eat. Read this book and it will change your life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Everyone MUST read this book. A shocking but true analogy of man's wan-ten greed and avarice at the expense World and all its wonderments.
Published 4 months ago by D
5.0 out of 5 stars God this book makes me So Sad
What a terrible place we humans have got to in our modern society today. This book lifts the lid on all the interplays and intercorrelations between multinationals, world... Read more
Published 9 months ago by L. Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read mired by drama
Indeed an interesting read, and there is certainly plenty one can learn from this book, but the amount of appeals to emotion, unrelated facts and 'fluff' tends to get in the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Verdicts
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a crime novel
A very readable account of the current state of the food business. Even after four years of publication, the contents is very relevant to stories we read in the media today,... Read more
Published 20 months ago by HJ Haugland
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is noe out
An eye opening book, that explains the truth about supermarket food practices and prices. Once read, you have a different perspective and understand why there is such a difference... Read more
Published 21 months ago by fluffycabbage
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, Kindle version poor
I eat a lot of junk food and buy 95% of it from supermarkets, so there was a lot to make me think in here. Read more
Published 23 months ago by SlowRichard
5.0 out of 5 stars Yep pretty damn scary
One of those books that you get recommended and then you read a whole trail of them. Solid, humble and very hard to read research on the grocery multi-million dollar trade in this... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2011 by Bobby Moon
5.0 out of 5 stars Does make you wonder what else is going wrong out there
Borrowed this from the library after reading some reviews and it made interesting if a bit depressing reading although it did confirm quite a few of my suspicions over the years... Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by DG
1.0 out of 5 stars Tosh.
If you are an eco-loon who believes in climate change and reads the Guardian, you'll love this book.

I, however, care about real problems, not imagined ones. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by MichaelSavageFan
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for anyone who wants to know how big buisness sucks
After you read this book you ask yourself why is this still allowed to go on. It makes you dispair at the worst in human nature as played out in the mindless greed of big business.
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by Damo
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