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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Food for thought? This book will challenge all of your pre-conceived ideas about food additives.

Written from the perspective of a sceptical food consumer, Stefan seeks the advice and insight of Professors, Food Scientists, Molecular biologists, GP's and a whole host of experts on the subject of E numbers. Stefan encourages the reader to be open-minded and leave our pre-conceptions at the door and to have perspective on the food challenges that face us in the 21st Century. Most importantly, he asks us to put a bit of effort into understanding the facts on the subject rather than yield to the media mantra that E numbers are going to poison you. The result is an interesting, well-balanced and down to earth book that brilliantly challenges the widely held view that all E numbers are bad for us and that we should avoid them at all cost. Drawing many parallels and comparisons with 'natural' foods and additives and even those found in our own bodies, it introduces a new perspective to food additives. Stating the facts not the fiction it certainly doesn't let the food industry, media nutritionists or sceptics off the hook either, but tells it like it is. It also includes an excellent directory of all of the E numbers, their uses and where you might find them, making it a great reference book too. A must read for anyone interested in food.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2010
At last a book about E numbers which doesn't try to frighten people. Instead the author presents a cool headed essay about additives in food.
Being a food scientist, I already know about food additives but it was refreshing to read an account of additives without the usual hysteria associated with this subject.
Extremely useful in that it has a list of all the additives allowed to be used by EU law.
If you want a balanced view of what additives are, how and why they are used, and what harm may result in their overuse, then this will enlighten you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2010
For my money, Stefan Gates is England's most entertaining food writer, North London's Jefferey Steingarten.
In this book he lifts the lid on the world of E-Numbers, leaving no stone unturned in his quest for gastronomic truth.

The book is a thought provoking riot, and Gates is prepared to go to any lengths to prove a point, whether it's undergoing liposuction to find out what E-numbers lurk in his own body fat, or eating plates and plates of processed food.

The book is thought provoking, insightful and a challenge to foodies everywhere that E-numbers aren't the devil.
most of all it's thoroughly entertaining and, I hope, the first in many "Stefan Gates on... books"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2010
Entertaining. Informative. Thoroughly researched. An original idea well executed. Bought a copy for myself and several more for mates.

Get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2010
Informative, at times shocking and above all else - entertaining. This is another classic Stefan Gates exploration into the weird and wonderful world of food.
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on 27 February 2015
In very good condition
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2010
I bought this book by mistake 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!
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2010
Stefan Gates has a degree in ENGLISH. He should stick to his expert area and not get involved in scientific issues. He says that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist even without qualifications, which is sadly true, but then he goes on to 'pretend' that he is an expert in nutrition by writing a book about food additives (even claiming that margarines can be good for you along the way)and making TV programmes about food. I find it scary!
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