Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 26, 2013 - Social Science - 288 pages
In the tradition of Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma comes an “indispensable,” (New York Newsday) fascinating, and cutting-edge look from the author of The Magic Feather Effect at the scary truth about what really goes into our food.

If a piece of individually wrapped cheese can retain its shape, color, and texture for years, what does it say about the food we eat and feed to our children?

Former New York Times business reporter and mother Melanie Warner decided to explore that question when she observed the phenomenon of the indestructible cheese. She began an investigative journey that took her to research labs, university food science departments, and factories around the country. What she discovered provides a rare, eye-opening—and sometimes disturbing—account of what we’re really eating. Warner looks at how decades of food science have resulted in the cheapest, most abundant, most addictive, and most nutritionally inferior food in the world, and she uncovers startling evidence about the profound health implications of the packaged and fast foods that we eat on a daily basis.

Combining meticulous research, vivid writing, and cultural analysis, Warner blows the lid off the largely undocumented—and lightly regulated—world of chemically treated and processed foods and lays bare the potential price we may pay for consuming even so-called healthy foods.
 

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User Review  - Jeannine504 - LibraryThing

Melanie Warner takes an adventurer's attitude in her quest to understand how food is processed and discovers a world of ingredients and flavors that delight our senses while undermining our nutrition ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jimocracy - LibraryThing

This was an informative and balanced book. I thought the author did a reasonable job of presenting information without an overly skewed narrative. She certainly had her biases but for some reason ... Read full review

Contents

Weird Science
1
The Crusading Chemist
21
The Quest for Eternal Cheese
38
Extruded and Gun Puffed
51
Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again
74
Better Living through Chemistry
97
The Joy of
124
Extended Meat
145
Sit at Home and Chew
203
A Note on the Paperback
223
Notes
235
Acknowledgments
259
21
263
124
264
145
265
167
268

Why Chicken Needs Chicken Flavor
167
Healthy Processed Foods
181

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About the author (2013)

Melanie Warner is a freelance writer for various publications, including The New York Times and Fast Company. She has spent the past fifteen years writing about business, first as a writer at Fortune magazine, where among other things, she wrote about the dotcom boom in Silicon Valley. She was also a staff reporter for The New York Times, covering the food industry. The author of The Magic Feather Effect and Pandora’s Lunchbox, she lives in Honolulu.

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