Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal (Hardcover)

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"Epic and engrossing." —The New York Times Book Review

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and pioneering journalist, an expansive look at how history has been shaped by humanity’s appetite for food, farmland, and the money behind it all—and how a better future is within reach.

The story of humankind is usually told as one of technological innovation and economic influence—of arrowheads and atomic bombs, settlers and stock markets. But behind it all, there is an even more fundamental driver: Food.
 
In Animal, Vegetable, Junk, trusted food authority Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and colonialism to famine and genocide—and to our current moment, wherein Big Food exacerbates climate change, plunders our planet, and sickens its people. Even still, Bittman refuses to concede that the battle is lost, pointing to activists, workers, and governments around the world who are choosing well-being over corporate greed and gluttony, and fighting to free society from Big Food’s grip.
 
Sweeping, impassioned, and ultimately full of hope, Animal, Vegetable, Junk reveals not only how food has shaped our past, but also how we can transform it to reclaim our future.

About the Author


MARK BITTMAN is the author of more than thirty books, including the How to Cook Everything series and the #1 New York Times bestseller VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good. He was a food columnist, opinion columnist, and the lead magazine food writer at the New York Times, where he started writing in 1984 and remained for more than thirty years.
 
Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He is a longtime Today regular and has made hundreds of television, radio, and podcast appearances, including on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Real Time with Bill Maher, and CBS’s The Dish; and on NPR’s All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Morning Edition.
 
Bittman has written for countless publications and spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk “What’s wrong with what we eat?” has almost five million views. He was a distinguished fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has received six James Beard Awards, four IACP Awards, and numerous other honors.
 
Bittman is currently special advisor on food policy at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he teaches and hosts a lecture series. He is also the editor in chief of Heated. His most recent book is his history of food and humanity, Animal, Vegetable, Junk.

Praise For…


A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"Epic and engrossing...a clear and compelling compendium of modern agriculture....[Bittman] has earned the right to damn the evident flaws of our system."—The New York Times Book Review

“An expert’s vigorous argument for systemic food reform.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Little in the present food world escapes [Bittman's] critical eye...[his] work is certain to increase controversy over the future of food.”—Booklist

“The climate crisis, COVID-19, and the recent reckoning with systemic and institutional racism have all revealed the many cracks in our global food system. In this thorough and revealing book, Mark Bittman discusses how we got to this point when reform is so essential, and presents the solutions to improve how we grow, distribute, and consume our food. A must read for policymakers, activists, and concerned citizens looking to better understand our food system, and how we can fix it.”—Vice President Al Gore
 
“Compelling and ambitious, Bittman's Animal, Vegetable, Junk is the authoritative text on the 1.8 million year history of the food system. We begin our journey with the first taming of fire to hunt and cook, witness the use of fire in indigenous swidden agriculture to prepare the ground, and finally arrive at the fanning of revolutionary fire of peasant farmers organizing against multinational agribusiness. Bittman leaves no stone unturned in the quest to understand how Big Food expropriated our land, water, and sustenance. Everyone who eats needs to read this book. The future of our species and our planet depends on it.”—Leah Penniman, founding co-director of Soul Fire Farm and author of Farming While Black
 
“Eating well, as Mark Bittman has taught so many of us over the years, is as much about collective health as it is about elegant recipes. In his most radical and profound book to date, Bittman brings his trademark wit, precision, and user-friendliness to a sweeping history of sustenance. The result is a joyful and transformational read.”—Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything

“A brilliant and insightful explanation of the food system. Bittman's writing is succinct and entertaining, and his recommendations are spot on.”—David A. Kessler, M.D., former FDA commissioner and author of The End of Overeating and Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs

“It’s easy to be jealous of Mark Bittman. He knows how to cook everything, and he writes so clearly that you’ll feel you can too. Now, he brings his prodigious talents to a history of how we eat. Once again, he has trimmed the fat and delivered it all. From the origins of the human diet to the World Trade Organization, you’ll find how they’re all connected in a broken food system. And his analysis is so compelling, you’ll not only understand what’s wrong, but also how to start to make it better.”—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved
 
“If you, like me, think and worry about what you eat and also about the planet that is actually providing sustenance to you—and the other 7 billion of us—you need to read this amazing book. You also, as Mr. Bittman suggests, need to become an eater and an advocate, and push for the policy change needed to give everyone access to the nutritious food necessary to survive and thrive.”—Ted Danson, actor and activist
 
“This is the perfect book for this moment in time, and Mark is the perfect person to write it”—Alice Waters, chef, activist, and author

“There is a saying: ‘Humans are what they eat.’ Yes, what isn’t our food connected to? Food is crucial for our survival, our health, our welfare, our land, our laws, our energy supplies, our water, and almost everything else. Mark Bittman’s thought-provoking, wide-ranging new book will open your eyes to the crisis facing our food system, and to the world impact of every bite that you eat.”—Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse

"Epic and engrossing...a clear and compelling compendium of modern agriculture....[Bittman] has earned the right to damn the evident flaws of our system."—The New York Times Book Review

“An expert’s vigorous argument for systemic food reform.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Little in the present food world escapes [Bittman's] critical eye...[his] work is certain to increase controversy over the future of food.”—Booklist

“The climate crisis, COVID-19, and the recent reckoning with systemic and institutional racism have all revealed the many cracks in our global food system. In this thorough and revealing book, Mark Bittman discusses how we got to this point when reform is so essential, and presents the solutions to improve how we grow, distribute, and consume our food. A must read for policymakers, activists, and concerned citizens looking to better understand our food system, and how we can fix it.”—Vice President Al Gore
 
“Compelling and ambitious, Bittman's Animal, Vegetable, Junk is the authoritative text on the 1.8 million year history of the food system. We begin our journey with the first taming of fire to hunt and cook, witness the use of fire in indigenous swidden agriculture to prepare the ground, and finally arrive at the fanning of revolutionary fire of peasant farmers organizing against multinational agribusiness. Bittman leaves no stone unturned in the quest to understand how Big Food expropriated our land, water, and sustenance. Everyone who eats needs to read this book. The future of our species and our planet depends on it.”—Leah Penniman, founding co-director of Soul Fire Farm and author of Farming While Black
 
“Eating well, as Mark Bittman has taught so many of us over the years, is as much about collective health as it is about elegant recipes. In his most radical and profound book to date, Bittman brings his trademark wit, precision, and user-friendliness to a sweeping history of sustenance. The result is a joyful and transformational read.”—Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything

“A brilliant and insightful explanation of the food system. Bittman's writing is succinct and entertaining, and his recommendations are spot on.”—David A. Kessler, M.D., former FDA commissioner and author of The End of Overeating and Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs

“It’s easy to be jealous of Mark Bittman. He knows how to cook everything, and he writes so clearly that you’ll feel you can too. Now, he brings his prodigious talents to a history of how we eat. Once again, he has trimmed the fat and delivered it all. From the origins of the human diet to the World Trade Organization, you’ll find how they’re all connected in a broken food system. And his analysis is so compelling, you’ll not only understand what’s wrong, but also how to start to make it better.”—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved
 
“If you, like me, think and worry about what you eat and also about the planet that is actually providing sustenance to you—and the other 7 billion of us—you need to read this amazing book. You also, as Mr. Bittman suggests, need to become an eater and an advocate, and push for the policy change needed to give everyone access to the nutritious food necessary to survive and thrive.”—Ted Danson, actor and activist
 
“This is the perfect book for this moment in time, and Mark is the perfect person to write it”—Alice Waters, chef, activist, and author

“There is a saying: ‘Humans are what they eat.’ Yes, what isn’t our food connected to? Food is crucial for our survival, our health, our welfare, our land, our laws, our energy supplies, our water, and almost everything else. Mark Bittman’s thought-provoking, wide-ranging new book will open your eyes to the crisis facing our food system, and to the world impact of every bite that you eat.”—Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse
 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781328974624
ISBN-10: 1328974626
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021
Pages: 384
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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