An Apple a Day: The Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths About the Foods We Eat

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Other Press, LLC, Jan 13, 2009 - Health & Fitness - 368 pages
Eat salmon. It’s full of good omega-3 fats. Don’t eat salmon. It’s full of PCBs and mercury. Eat more veggies. They’re full of good antioxidants. Don’t eat more veggies. The pesticides will give you cancer.

Forget your dinner jacket and put on your lab coat: you have to be a nutritional scientist these days before you sit down to eat—which is why we need Dr. Joe Schwarcz, the expert in connecting chemistry to everyday life. In An Apple a Day, he’s taken his thorough knowledge of food chemistry, applied it to today’s top food fears, trends, and questions, and leavened it with his trademark lighthearted approach. The result is both an entertaining revelation of the miracles of science happening in our bodies every time we bite into a morsel of food, and a telling exploration of the myths, claims, and misconceptions surrounding our obsession with diets, nutrition, and weight.

Looking first at how food affects our health, Dr. Joe examines what’s in tomatoes, soy, and broccoli that can keep us healthy and how the hundreds of compounds in a single food react when they hit our bodies. Then he investigates how we manipulate our food supply, delving into the science of food additives and what benefits we might realize from adding bacteria to certain foods. He clears up the confusion about contaminants, examining everything from pesticide residues, remnants of antibiotics, the dreaded trans fats, and chemicals that may leach from cookware. And he takes a studied look at the science of calories and weighs in on popular diets.

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User Review  - puttocklibrary - LibraryThing

This is a very informative book. Joe Schwarcz does a good job of describing a lot of complicated food studies & names in everyday language anyone could understand. The topic does lend itself to a lot ... Read full review

An Apple A Day: The Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths About the Foods We Eat

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Every day, consumers are bombarded with new food and nutrition information. Are genetically modified foods dangerous? (Maybe, maybe not.) Should we eat fish for the omega-3 fatty acids or avoid it ... Read full review


Tomatoes and Lycopene
Cranberries and Procyanidins
BlueberriesAnthocyanins and Pterostilbene
Acai Berries and Antioxidant Potential
Curry and Curcumin
Coffee Beans and Caffeine Grapes and Resveratrol
Vitamins from A to
Spinach andtheB Vitamins Oils NutsWhole Grains andVitamin
Manipulating Our Food Supply Fortifying with Iron
Sweetening with Sugar and HighFructose Corn Syrup
Cutting Calories with Nonnutritional Artificial Sweeteners
Improving Taste with Artificial Flavors
Preserving with Sulphites and Propionates
Preservingwith Viruses

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About the author (2009)

Joe Schwarcz

Joe Schwarcz is director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society in Montreal. He teaches courses on nutrition and the applications of chemistry to everyday life. His informative and entertaining public lectures range from nutritional controversies to the chemistry of love. Schwarcz has received numerous awards, including the Royal Society of Canada's McNeil Award, and is the only non-American to win the American Chemical Society's prestigious Grady-Stack Award. He is the author of six books, including Let Them Eat Flax. He was also the chief consultant for the blockbuster titles Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal and The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs. A regular guest on Canadian television, and the host of weekly radio shows in Toronto and Montreal, Schwarcz also writes a weekly column for The Gazette in Montreal, where he lives. Visit him at

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