Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System Is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture (Hardcover)
Sustainable Literature Commitee's 2018 Green Prize Winner • One of Bustle's "17 Best Nonfiction Books Coming Out In June 2018" • One of The Revelator's "16 New Environmental Books for June" • One of Equinox's "5 Books High Performers Should Read in June" • One of Foodtank's "18 Books Making a Splash This Summer" • One of CivilEats' "22 Noteworthy Food and Farming Books for Summer Reading—and Beyond"
From the voice of a new generation of food activists, a passionate and deeply-researched call for a new food movement.
If you think buying organic from Whole Foods is protecting you, you're wrong. Our food—even what we're told is good for us—has changed for the worse in the past 100 years, its nutritional content deteriorating due to industrial farming and its composition altered due to the addition of thousands of chemicals from pesticides to packaging. We simply no longer know what we’re eating.
In Formerly Known as Food, Kristin Lawless argues that, because of the degradation of our diet, our bodies are literally changing from the inside out. The billion-dollar food industry is reshaping our food preferences, altering our brains, changing the composition of our microbiota, and even affecting the expression of our genes. Lawless chronicles how this is happening and what it means for our bodies, health, and survival.
An independent journalist and nutrition expert, Lawless is emerging as the voice of a new generation of food thinkers. After years of "eat this, not that" advice from doctors, journalists, and food faddists, she offers something completely different. Lawless presents a comprehensive explanation of the problem—going beyond nutrition to issues of food choice, class, race, and gender—and provides a sound and simple philosophy of eating, which she calls the "Whole Egg Theory."
Destined to set the debate over food politics for the next decade, Formerly Known as Food speaks to a new generation looking for a different conversation about the food on our plates.
Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything: "In this revelatory survey of the dangers of the industrial food system, Lawless offers crucial tools for navigating it safely. The best ones have nothing to do with shopping advice: she asks us to think holistically about food, why it can't be separated from other struggles for justice, and what it means to demand transformative change."
Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything: "A stirring call to action. Lawless has done a thorough job of describing how so much of what we eat doesn't qualify as 'food'"
Laurie David, Academy Award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth and Fed Up: “You better read this book before you put another bite of food in your or your kids' mouths!”
Mary Esther Malloy, MA, Mindful Birth NY: "Groundbreaking... will get you thinking differently about how you nourish yourself and your family."
About the Author
KRISTIN LAWLESS (previously published as Kristin Wartman) is the author of Formerly Known As Food and an independent journalist focusing on the intersections of food, health, politics, and culture. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Newsweek, VICE, Huffington Post, and Civil Eats, as well as in academic journals, such as The Black Scholar, Critical Quarterly, and The New Labor Forum. Kristin is a Certified Nutrition Educator and works as a nutrition consultant with doctors in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
"Lawless wants to re-shape the way we think about food, health, politics and culture...We have to act, she says, and the time is now." —Forbes
"An illuminating and engrossing read that is expansive in its scope yet pointed in its message...Her research spooks you like a sci-fi thriller, but also has the luscious energy of a 1970s feminist manifesto that will galvanize you to 'act as if our lives depend on it.'" —The Frontlash
"An astute and straightforward examination of how eaters have been duped." —CivilEats
"This well-researched study is sure to sound alarms and spark changes." —Booklist
"Compelling...urges its readers to take action to overhaul the food system." —Linewaiter's Gazette
"This insightful book provides critical, transformative, and scientifically supported opportunities to restore our society’s health." —Dr. Binoy K. Singh, Associate Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, Northwell Health, Lenox Hill
"In this revelatory survey of the dangers of the industrial food system, Lawless offers crucial tools for navigating it safely. The best ones have nothing to do with shopping advice: she asks us to think holistically about food, why it can't be separated from other struggles for justice, and what it means to demand transformative change." —Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything
"Lawless takes us where few food critics dare to go. She shows how society can prioritize the time and other resources for all to eat well, from breastfeeding to healthy old age, over the corporate interests of Big Ag and Big Food." - Selma James, author of Sex, Race, and Class
“At age 57, I’m seeing friends 10 to 15 years younger succumb to diseases that used to plague our elders at 65 plus. But why? Lawless provides answers in this great and necessary book.” —Chuck D, Raptivist and founder of Public Enemy
"Powerful.... will change the way you think about what is healthy food and ultimately help prevent heart attacks and strokes and possibly even save your life." —Dr. Dennis Goodman, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Director of Integrative Medicine, NYU
"Revelatory on every page and a delight to read, Formerly Known as Food is both a powerful expose and a passionate manifesto. In her meticulous autopsy of way we eat today, Kristin Lawless has provided a public service. Reading Formerly Known as Food is a matter of life and death." —Steve Fraser, author of Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion
"This groundbreaking book will get you thinking differently about how you nourish yourself and your family, and will inspire you to advocate for change." —Mary Esther Malloy, MA, Mindful Birth, NY
“Unless you make it yourself, you have no idea what you are eating and Kristin Lawless explains why. You better read this book before you put another bite of food in your or your kids' mouths!” —Laurie David
"We take 'food' for granted. But Kristin Lawless has done a thorough job of describing how so much of what we eat doesn't qualify as 'food'—and the terrible, sometimes catastrophic effects that transition has had (and will have) on our bodies and our planet. A stirring call to action to improve the awareness and ultimately health of all of us." —Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything