Devoured

Devoured

From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies--how What We Eat Defines Who We Are

Book - 2016
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A provocative look at how and what Americans eat and why--a flavorful blend of The Omnivore's Dilemma, Salt Sugar Fat, and Freakonomics that reveals how the way we live shapes the way we eat.

Food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director Sophie Egan takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining the connections between the values that define our national character--work, freedom, and progress--and our eating habits, the good and the bad. Egan explores why these values make for such an unstable, and often unhealthy, food culture and, paradoxically, why they also make America's cuisine so great.

Egan raises a host of intriguing questions: Why does McDonald's have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal? The search for answers takes her across the culinary landscape, from the prioritization of convenience over health to the unintended consequences of "perks" like free meals for employees; from the American obsession with "having it our way" to the surge of Starbucks, Chipotle, and other chains individualizing the eating experience; from high culture--artisan and organic and what exactly "natural" means--to low culture--the sale of 100 million Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos in ten weeks. She also looks at how America's cuisine--like the nation itself--has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe.

Devoured weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, and behavioral economics as well as myriad examples from daily life to create a powerful and unique look at food in America.

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062390998
0062390996
9780062390981
0062390988
Branch Call Number: 394.12097 Eg14D 2016
Characteristics: ix, 403 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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TheresaAJ
Sep 06, 2016

Egan explores all the complexities and contradictions of Americans' eating habits in this well-researched work. The Source Notes and Bibliography are 53 pages long plus an 8-page glossary that includes terms like diet evangelism, health halo, and secular church. The author takes on topics such as eating lunch hunched over a keyboard, the age of stunt foods, and how Italian immigrants created the first ethnic cuisine that went mainstream. Egan's skill with the written word will have you laughing and wincing as she describes eating in today's America. Lots of statistics illustrate her main points and themes.

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