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on 23 August 2012
Yes we're all tired of being told "eat this", "don't eat that", to the point where we're negative about food and have come to view it as a task, a guilty sin, a risk.

The reason you should read this book is because it's a positive, clear-headed, rational-minded antidote to all the rubbish we've heard about food - from the industry, but also from well-meaning but misguided scaremongers. It's a fundamentally moderate book, and is not preachy or condescending. Given the weight it punches in terms of research and good sense, that in itself is a huge triumph.

Refreshingly, its core message is a positive one: that we should strive to eat basic, honest, simple, traditional foods, and know what we're eating. It's a celebration of all that's good about real food and dismisses myth and fear simply with facts. The book draws our attention to the hidden value, as well as the hidden costs, in the food we by, and in that sense it's a great education and one we should all embrace.
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on 31 May 2014
Brilliant read! But her latest 'Swallow This' is far better
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on 3 June 2017
As advertised.
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on 21 April 2012
I have bought two previous books by this author. I respect the quality of her research, the easy-to-read prose and her opinions - even where I do not agree with them! She remains one of the few campaigning food journalist, who covers practical as well as 'political'issues. I think we are what we eat - so being reliably better informed is certainly worth the cover price.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 September 2012
WARNING - the good reviews of this book are for the physical book, not the Kindle version. How do I know? Because most of the Kindle version is, quite literally, unreadable. One of the reviewers mentions the "orange writing", and I think this is the source of the problem. This book is completely unsuitable for the Kindle because it hasn't been formatted for the Kindle, the digital version of the book has just been taken and put into basic Kindle format. Not good enough and simply not fit for purpose. Don't waste your money.
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on 6 March 2012
I got a copy as soon as I could because I loved other books by this author, especially Shopped.
Ever since I dipped my nose into it, I haven't been able to put it down. If you only buy one food book ever, this is the one to go for.
This is the book I have been waiting for. It approaches the vexed subject of how to eat well- and thoughtfully- in a wonderfully common sense, yet highly authoritative way.
I particularly liked the introductory '20 principles of eating well'. This reminded me somewhat of Michael Pollan's Food Rules, but is of more practical use because it goes into more detail and is written for a UK audience.
Blythman writes with great knowledge, clarity, passion and not a little humour. She seems to understand very well all the questions that we ask of food these days, especially the problem of balancing our foodie and ethical aspirations with economic realities.
The book is all-embracing in that it looks at food from all angles. It contains an astonishing amount of different types of well-digested information about food- everything from health, animal welfare, to ethical concerns- but it is so accessible and readable, you want to read it, rather than thinking 'That's useful' and leaving it for another day.
A great read and a really important contribution to our food awareness.
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on 14 March 2012
I bought this book on the day of publishing because I had seen a review in The Times. Overall, I found it disappointing.
The initial 20 rules are pretty basic stuff - the basis of a good magazine article in 'Red' or 'Marie Claire'. I would be surprised if anyone who's read or followed Hugh FW or Jamie Oliver over the last 10 years would find anything fresh here.

The book is then an encyclopaedia of ingredients with information under standard headings - price, sourcing, environmental issues and brief cooking ideas. Maybe I'm being hypercritical, but a summary of 'asparagus' would be: expensive, don't eat out of season because it is imported and of poorer quality, you can probably buy locally which would be best, in season. Hello?

It's not easy to read - more to dip into for a specific ingredient. I'm not quite sure how you could practically use it to plan your eating - counter to some of the other reviews posted which suggest it is an ideal tool for this.

Overall - the brief cooking ideas listed beside each ingredient is quite useful which raises it to 3 stars - but otherwise I'm not sure what to do with it. Nice yellow door-stop anyone?
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on 6 March 2012
This book gives an interesting breakdown on each type of food by chapter -e.g. each sort of vegetable, each type of meat by nutrition, welfare, pesticide issues. She recommends we eat more vegetables and less processed foods.

However a significant amount of the text was in orange, and this orange text was very difficult and uncomfortable to read. I have returned my book to amazon as a result, might considering buying a 2nd edition if typeface all in black.
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on 18 October 2013
I learned a lot from this book. For those who are interested in how their food is produced and the effect on the environment and on their bodies, it is a must read. Best tip : keeping the rind of parmesan cheese to flavour soup. Most interesting section for me: grains. Highly recommend, although didn't like repetition of what protein etc does to your body in so many sections, but it's easy to skip.
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on 9 April 2012
What to Eat: Food that's good for your health, pocket and plate

This is a highly enjoyable book full of interesting advice and information. The 20 principles of eating, made simple is an inspired but commonsensical guide to buying and eating good food. In it she debunks many of the things we've been brought up to believe about what constitutes good and healthy food. It turns out much of what we have been told by the government food scientists and nutritionalists is wrong. So butter, whole/ full milk, eggs etc., are good for you (as the older generation knew all along). In fact it turns out most natural food are. The call to buying organic, high welfare, local, non processed foods is convincingly argued and one I needed little persuading on.

What good about this book is that it builds on the points made in the introduction about principles of eating to give useful, empowering information on how to buy specific food ingredients and getting the most out of them. I liked the way she covers each type of food and ingredient - background information, what you should look out for when buying, things to do with the product etc. All this is very clearly explained and presented.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to be better informed on the food choices they make. For me it was an unputdownable read and it has certainly inspired me to think again about what I buy and eat.
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