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on 26 August 2008
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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on 3 January 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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on 9 August 2012
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, providing a background for why the UK dairy farmers are not getting paid fairly for their milk, and what it can mean to the world population that the US corn production has been affected so severely by drought. Although most of the information builds on information readily available in the news, the chapter on fats brought with it some surprising facts. I must admit I had never considered what kind of fat replaced trans fats, I just assumed that the replacement fat was somehow better. Little did I know that trans fat was replaced with something called interesterified vegetable oil which, after a little research on the net, even food scientists admit "is not metabolized easily". One study revealed that "people's glucose went up to prediabetic levels and insulin went down.". So the verdict is still clearly out on fats used in food processing, and as long as government is unwilling to regulate the food industry, we need journalists like Felicity Lawrence to help us know what is good for us as consumers and to keep the food business on its toes.
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on 31 March 2011
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 about Western expansionism in the name of free trade and scandal of huge subsidies and reimbursements from our own pockets. The book serves as a commendable eye-opener to the dangers of modern industrialised life and I'm not surprised that people often go to doctors with symptoms which leave the medical profession scratching their heads. Food related "illnesses" are here to stay as long as people continue to eat the dangerous concoctions dished out by the food industry. The pharmaceutical industry is also in the act of inventing new drugs to counter the food industry's inventions and governments collude with them.

I was also impressed by the connection between economic migration to the West from countries that had been ravaged by cheap imports from the West. What goes around comes around.

I can now also see the obvious connection between lifestyle causing obesity and its modern treatment, namely bariatric surgery, which does nothing to the underlying problem but acts as a quick fix solution (people continue to gain weight after surgery). Contrastingly, governments pay only lip-service at best to improving affordability of naturally available seasonal food and promoting regular exercise from an early age in order to prevent obesity in the first place: where would all the revenue come from then?
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on 11 October 2009
This book is an excellent read for anyone interested in the state of the global food industry. Neatly divided into chapters which focus on topics like "Milk", "Pigs" or "Fish", Felicity Lawrence has done her utmost best to give us an accurate picture of the current state of the food industry. Not biased or persuasive, this book simply tells it how it is and allows the reader to make up their own minds. I'm pretty sure this book will encourage anyone who reads it to rethink the way they buy and consume food, and may also cause them to start spreading the message too (as I have found myself doing!).
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on 31 July 2008
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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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2008
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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on 13 October 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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on 20 March 2013
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 way.

Mundane facts are presented in a way to make them seem like dramatic revolutions, and what could be a simple table of information instead gets chapters devoted to bias interpretation. There is still plenty to be learned from in this book, and it would seem to be well researched, but it could be about 35% shorter and not lose any interesting content.

Still, anyone interested in the industry will enjoy this book.
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on 28 March 2010
An absolutely fascinating piece of investigative journalism. Excellent insight in to the machinations of the politics of the food industry. Also examines the vital role of nutrition in health. Challenges all that empty marketing by the food industry , that we are constantly bombarded with, that showers us with health claims for their products and that often is predicated on our ignorance and our wish to be healthy. Easy to read. Well thought out. Coherent and balanced. Cant recommend it enough.
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