Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
by Eric Schlosser
Schlosser argues that the fast food industry is responsible for the growth of malls, the widening wage gap, and the obesity epidemic. He discusses facts about food production and preparation, the ingredients and taste-enhancers in the food, the chains' efforts to reel in young, susceptible consumers, and other unsettling facts.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
by Michael Pollan
In his 2006 blockbuster, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Michael Pollan gave voice to Americans' deep anxiety about food: What should we eat? Where does our food come from? And, most important, why does it take an investigative journalist to answer what should be a relatively simple question? In the hundreds of interviews Pollan gave following the book's publication, the question everyone, including me, asked him was: What do you eat? It was both a sincere attempt to elicit a commonsense prescription and, when it came from cynical East Coast journalists, a thinly veiled attempt to trap the author. "Oh! So he shops at farmers markets," we snipped enviously to one another. "Well, easy for him out there in Berkeley where they feast on peaches and cream in February! What about the rest of us?" "In Defense of Food" is Pollan's answer: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
by Julie Powell
Powell, a frustrated secretary in New York City, embarked on "the Julie/Julia project": a yearlong odyssey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." She blogged about her project and quickly became an online sensation. In this memoir, Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s and weaves them into her own story of her year, which changed her in ways that she hadn't anticipated.
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach
by Anthony Bourdain
More than just a companion to the hugely popular show, "No Reservations"is Bourdain's fully illustrated journal of his far-flung travels. The book traces his trips from New Zealand to New Jersey and everywhere in between, mixing beautiful, never-before-seen photos and mementos with Bourdain's outrageous commentary on what really happens when you give a bad-boy chef an open ticket to the world.
Salt: A World History
by Mark Kurlansky
Kurlansky draws on culinary, political and scientific history to demonstrate the powerful role salt has played throughout the world from early times.
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
by Jacques Pepin
The man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.
The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes
by Tom Parker Bowles
Fugu. Dog. Cobra. Bees. Spleen. A 600,000 SCU chili pepper. All considered foods by millions of people around the world. And all objects of great fascination to Tom Parker Bowles, a food journalist who grew up eating his mother's considerably safer roast chicken, shepherd's pie and mushy peas. Intrigued by the food phobias of two friends, Parker Bowles became inspired to examine the cultural divides that make some foods verboten or dangerous in the culture he grew up with while being seen as lip-smacking delicacies in others. So began a year-long odyssey through Asia, Europe and America in search of the world's most thrilling, terrifying and odd foods.