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Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice (Arts & Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History): Science and the Politics of Dietary Advice Hardcover – 9 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (9 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231156561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231156561
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 505,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Nutritionism is an important contribution to the discourse of the alternative food movement, providing a unique, scholarly rationale for the food-quality paradigm. Gyorgy Scrinis provides a new language for talking about how our ideas about what makes a good diet have come to be. --Charlotte Biltekoff, University of California, Davis

Scrinis details the ideology of 'nutritionism,' in which the great majority of dietary advice is reduced to statements about a few nutrients. The resulting cascade is nutrient-based dietary guidelines, nutrition labeling, food engineering, and food marketing. I agree with Scrinis that a broader focus on foods would lead to quite a different scientific and political cascade, including a more healthful diet for many people and a different relationship between the public and the food industry. --David Jacobs, Mayo Professor of Public Health, University of Minnesota

This book artfully brings together two fields. One is the huge body of scholarly and popular texts that provide nutritional advice, or tell us what to eat. Scrinis has combed through this literature in exhaustive detail to provide a magnificent synthesis. The other field is what I would call critical nutrition studies, referring to a growing literature that interrogates and historicizes nutritional advice. Scrinis critiques this on its own terms and then suggests other approaches to evaluating food. --Julie Guthman, author of Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice and the Limits of Capitlalism

About the Author

Gyorgy Scrinis is a lecturer in food politics in the School of Land and Environment at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research addresses the politics, sociology, and philosophy of food and of science and technology.

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By Autamme_dot_com TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
Should you ever find yourself in the position of wanting to lose a little weight, you cannot help but be thoroughly confused by the sheer amount of seemingly conflicting information over what you should or shouldn't eat. Some ingredients and foods are good, now they are bad, oh, they are good again... really? What is one to do?

Taking a liberal quote from the very start of this book, you can easily get a taste (sic) of things to come: "Margarine has been the chameleon of manufactured food products, able to transform its nutritional appearance, adapt to changing nutritional fads and charm unwitting nutrition experts and nutrition-conscious consumers. While research published by nutrition scientists in the early 1990s on the harmfulness of the trans-fats in margarine temporarily unveiled its highly processed and degraded character, margarine has subsequently been reinvented as a trans-fat-free, cholesterol-lowering 'functional food.'"

So are we getting the wool pulled over our eyes by suave marketeers and big business? Possibly... Margarine was developed by a French chemist in the late nineteenth century and up until the 1960s, it was generally viewed as a cheap butter substitute, only used by those who couldn't afford the "real thing." Yet now butter is the big, bad nasty and margarine (a manufactured, chemically-reconstituted vegetable oil with various colouring agents and added vitamins) is the grand saviour. Really?

After reading through this book will you ever look at food, diets and so-called advice in the same light again?
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