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2.0 out of 5 starsSo sadly biased, it lost my interest at the halfway mark
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 10, 2018
I was not exactly sure what I was going to be reading in this book, but it pretty much is a call to vegetarianism/veganism. While I know our meat supply at times can be suspect, not 100% of it is. Some people buy humanely raised animal protein. So when I read such an extreme book it gives me pause in its veracity. Bottom line, this book pretty much lines up the point that eating animals is bad for you and the planet on many counts. 1. It’s not economical. Costs more to feed the animal that if we ate the feed it is getting 2. It is not safe. Too many chemicals are going into industrially raised animals 3. You can get your protein just as well, elsewhere.
While fundamentally I agree that this may have a certain ring of truth, it does not also address the aspect of GMO altered plant food as well as pesticides. When showing a chart of Plants versus Animals, this of course is not included on the plant side. Mind you animals are also getting these items and passing them on, but it is not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to eating plants either.
In the short section (1-½ pages on Organic versus non-Organic), they indicate that Organic is better but then go on to say and I directly quote: “If your main goal is healthy foods, don’t worry if you can’t always afford organic. As Dr. Michael Greger notes; “You receive tremendous benefits from eating conventional fruits and vegetables that far outweigh whatever little bump in risk you may get from the pesticides”. Seriously, as this book vilifies meat in 10 different ways, this blows my mind.
Fully half of the book is the reasons you should only eat plant based food. The other half is how you should manage your pantry, planning meals etc. Then there are the recipes.
All chock full of vegetables and fruits but also highly processed vegetable products like protein powders, processed fake meats and cheeses. While this does eliminate the animal proteins it does add in the “processing plant” which on the other hand is a source of contaminants and other issues that are not necessarily great for you either. I know several vegetarians and two things that struck me. One eats a lot of pasta and crackers, chips and that type of snack food, that the rest of the world would universally say is bad for you. And the other does not cook any meals that rely heavy on vegetables, but has many pre-processed meals. I found this out after asking how she warmed up tofu. I had been looking for a traditional “Yudofu” method of warming tofu, as I had it in Japan and enjoyed it. She said though she ate it regularly she never cooked it and relied on frozen meals with it. Mind you, if you think how processed tofu is to start with in the first place, this fits into the heavily processed food category.
My whole point in this review, is I have a relentless need for transparency and this book is so sadly one sided it loses its appeal with me. While I agree on the point that meat is not essential and costly in many ways, culturally it is our habit. If they want to appeal to people to change their habit and scare them into doing so, they should check their biases at the door and portray a more accurate portrayal of our food sources. There is a lot of people that preach organic and shudder at the thought of GMO alterations of our plants and this is barely addressed in this book. While in this day and age of ridiculously polarized politics, I find this handling in a book that purports to address this issue scientifically, appalling..
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 24, 2017
My expectation was that this was a book on healthy eating. My discovery was that it is primarily vegetarian propaganda. The first four chapters should be scrapped as pure unscientific propaganda. Finally in chapter five it starts to deliver some useful information.
As a nutrition expert it's very difficult to read a book like this which is not based on science and contains so many inflammatory statements. Page 24 “there is no dispute among reputable scientists” - Who decides which scientists are “reputable” and which scientists aren't?
Page 22 “Think about it this way: Would you stick a cup into a lake, river, stream, or ocean that your fish was pulled out of and drink that water? Of course not.” - That depends on the water source, there are many natural water sources that I would drink from and consider far healthier than city water. Flip that around and say something like: Would you drink water that someone has dumped toxic chlorine and fluoride into? (because that's basically what she is saying to do) A fact of life is that we have polluted the Earth. Should we stop breathing because the air is polluted?
The author is trying to make the case that animal products are full of toxins, meanwhile she overlooks completely that plant foods are contaminated with pesticides and herbicides.
Page 36 “Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the animal food industry has convinced the public that meat, eggs, fish, and dairy are not just healthy but necessary for a nutritious diet.” - What overwhelming evidence? What about all the experts with the opposite opinion?
Yes, it would be more "humane" to stop factory farming animals. And dramatically decreasing animal consumption may very well have fantastic benefits for reducing global warming and saving the planet (however I'm not an expert on that and can't give an expert opinion one way or the other).
Vegetarians will probably love this book. For everyone else, read it if you are interested in this viewpoint. My opinion is that it is very good to read opinions that you don't agree with. It's good food for thought and mental exercise.
2.0 out of 5 starsHealth advice with an agenda, IMHO
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 23, 2017
I found I couldn’t trust the advice in this book. The “point” seems to be to eat vegan. Nothing wrong with that. The problem I had was that promoting eating vegan seemed to matter more than the health effects of various foods. For example, the book criticizes milk because those who are lactose intolerant may have gas when they consume milk. This is offered as a reason not to drink milk. Yet, the book encourages eating beans. Instead of saying that having gas is a reason not to eat beans, the book gives tips for dealing with gas produced by beans. When discussing milk, the authors didn’t offer suggestions for dealing with gas produced due to lactose intolerance, such as lactase pills or eating dairy that is low in lactose. Never mind that many people don’t have lactose intolerance in the first place. After encountering several examples like this, I gave up on the book since I found I just couldn’t rely on the advice in it.
If you are looking for vegan recipes, you will find about 70 pages worth of them.