Review: Eat This, Not That (Supermarket Edition)

Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival GuideEat This, Not That (Supermarket Survival Guide)
by David Zinczenko

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eat This, Not That: Supermarket Edition / 978-1-60529-838-2

If you don't know the first thing about trans fats, or the difference between organic produce and non-organic product, or how to read nutrition labels in general, then this is a really wonderful place to start. The format is engaging and easy to digest - you can parcel this out in small reading chunks, or just consume it from front to back, with a notepad handy to take notes.

However, for veteran foodies, there's literally nothing new here. Nothing shown or discussed in this book couldn't be gotten from old fashioned label-reading (the kind my mother has drilled into me from my earliest days in the supermarket with her), and some of the advice is a bit conflicting - for instance, some of the "Eat This" items appear as "Not That!"s in the original book in the series. A lot of the advice is less than healthful and more interested in simply shaving calories - the drinks section, for instance, recommends loading up on aspartame over sugar, since there is "little evidence to support cancer-causing claims" and sugar has more calories, after all.

Come to think of it, a lot of the "nutrition" baggage has been tossed over-board for morally-loaded weight-loss words. Whatever else donuts might be, for instance, I don't really think it's healthy to call them "evil" - a term this book slings around frequently, along with the usual "good", "bad", and "naughty" terms that cause an HAES-believer like me to wince. Whatever, guys, I'm here for the nutritional facts alone, not the commentary.

If you've never learned how to read a nutrition label before, this book may help you, but you're just as likely to do well enough with an internet search. The best this book can do is give you a starting point for your grocery lists, but most of even the "good" food listed here was way more "junky" (by the authors' terms) than what I normally eat, so it wasn't much help to me.

~ Ana Mardoll

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