I bought this book by mistake (I have the paperback edition) because I came across it in a bookshop while in Britain. If I had read the back cover, which I didn't have the time to do, I wouldn't have bought it: "Stefan Gates on E Numbers is a myth-busting celebration of E s". For me this is clearly EU propaganda and I have enough of that to last me a life time. To be fair to the author he does say that this thing of giving additives a number was a mistake, which is clear because now the good, the less good and the bad ones are all anonymous and no one knows what to reject or what is harmless but to celebrate the E's? A bit much if you ask me. There are a lot of harmless E numbers but who is to know? We can't all walk around the supermarket with long lists of what is good and what is not? He does have a couple of lists at the end of the book but the most complete one, for example, comes in Alphabetical order so if I want to find a certain number I have to go through the whole list, not very practical if you ask me..... especially if you want to do your shopping and leave, not just hang around the supermarket!
For me one of the biggest problems with all these additives is that they are in everything we eat, even supplements, medication, everywhere and I don't think anyone really knows what they can do to you especially when you are fed with them all day, every day so celebrating them sounds like nonsense to me. I have just read the book Excitotoxins, which is mainly about Aspartame and MSG and I fully believe what the author says (not difficult... after all he is a neurosurgeon, not a food writer who bakes cakes with his own belly fat). I have just ordered another book which I hope will clarify a lot of these matters for me: What's Really in Your Basket: An Easy to Use Guide to Food Additives & Cosmetic Ingredients: An Easy to Use Guide to Food Additives and Cosmetic Ingredients. If not I will try something else! I want to protect not only myself but also my family and with my daughters starting to have children I find important to pass the information on to them (not that the youth really cares.... but one should try!).
So, no! Despite the positive reviews here if I had looked further into it I would have never bought this book!