My 4 Favorite Books About Food for 2015

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’re probably interested in learning more about food, where it comes from, and living a healthier life. So, in that spirit, here’s a list of my 4 favorite books about food from 2015 to add to your reading list.

Bruce Bradley's 4 Favorite books about food for 2015

The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner

The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner is an insightful read about the diets and lifestyles of the world's longest-lived communities.Interested in learning about what the world’s healthiest people eat? Dan Buettner answers this question from a totally different perspective by exploring the diets of the world’s most long-lived people. In the process he identifies 5 Blue Zones across the globe that are longevity hotspots.

What I loved about The Blue Zones Solution:

  • There are some very consistent themes to what healthy people eat across these Blue Zones. I also like how the book explores non-food related causes for living healthier, longer lives.
  • I’m inspired by how Dan Buettner and the Blue Zones organization is trying to help change our food environment by testing new approaches to get communities eating healthier.
  • Finally, there are a ton of great recipes that bring the Blue Zone lifestyle to life in your own kitchen.

Book review quote that best sums up The Blue Zones Solution:

In this worthy successor to his 2009 best seller, The Blue Zones, journalist and health activist Buettner teases out the habits and practices of the people he deems the world’s healthiest… Readers seeking a healthier lifestyle will appreciate this warm and encouraging book.
Library Journal


Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat by Barry Estabrook

In Pig Tales you'll learn the real story behind industrial meat production without the preachy lecture.If you eat meat you really need to read this book. We owe it to ourselves to learn more about how the industrial agricultural system produces meat.

What I loved about Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat:

  • Barry Estabrook really tells the complete story about the pork industry from all different angles. He’s not trying to get you to be a vegetarian. In fact he freely admits he eats pork. Rather, he wants you to better understand where your pork is coming from and the consequences of industrial agriculture so that you can make a better, more informed choice.
  • A lot of these type of books can come off as very preachy. I don’t know about you, but that turns me off pretty quickly. Personally, I think Pig Tales did a great job of telling the story of industrial agriculture without getting on a high horse too often.

Book review quote that best sums up Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat:

Masterfully blends storytelling with succinct explanations of policy and science…a must-read.

—Jim Romanoff at EatingWell


Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle

If you're interested in learning more about sustainable farming and how a group of lentil farmers decided to stand up to Big Agricultural companies, add Lentil Underground to your reading list.I learned about this book from one of my blog readers. She introduced me to one of the farmers featured in this book who then introduced me to the author, Liz Carlisle. (Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book from the author).

If you’re interested in learning more about sustainable farming and how a group of lentil farmers decided to stand up to Big Agricultural companies, add this book to your reading list.

What I loved about Lentil Underground:

  • It truly is an inspiring tale where you’ll not only learn more about sustainable farming, but you’ll get a behind the scenes glimpse into the challenges it takes for independent farmers to persevere and succeed.
  • Again, I’m not a big fan of the preachy food book, especially those that read like textbooks. Lentil Underground does a great job of telling the story of real farmers, sustainable farming, and the challenges they face without telling you what you should think.

Book review quote that best sums up Lentil Underground:

Who’d have thought that a book about lentil farming could be a page-turner? With a voice as clear and powerful on the page as it is onstage, Liz Carlisle writes the struggles of Montana’s farmers as an epic. Their battles with food, finance, health care, and modern capitalism are both inspiring and a timely reminder that populism needn’t be a dirty word.
—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and research professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas as Austin


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit has great insights into how habits work and how we can go about changing them!I debated about whether to put this book on the list because it’s not really a book about food. Rather, it’s a book about habits, why they exist, and how they can be changed.

So why did I include it on my list? One of the biggest challenges we all face in eating healthier is changing our habits. While this book talks a whole lot about habits in many different contexts (including how they apply to the business world), I found it very useful as a tool in better understanding habits and how they work.

What I loved about The Power of Habit:

  • Charles Duhigg breaks down how habits ensnare us in simple terms. If you get nothing else from this book you’ll learn the four steps to identifying and changing habits: Step 1: Identify the Routine, Step 2: Experiment with Rewards, Step 3: Isolate the Cue, and Step 4: Create a Plan.

Book review quote that best sums up The Power of Habit:

Duhigg argues that much of our lives is ruled by unconscious habits, good and bad, but that by becoming consciously aware of the cues that trigger our habits and the rewards they provide, we can change bad practices into good ones.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Do you have any recently published books about food that you recommend? Please share them in the comments below.

Finally, if you’re like me, and you have the best intentions of reading more, but the challenges of a busy life are getting in the way, check out Audible’s FREE 30-day FREE trial. I know that after reading A LOT during the day for work, it’s hard to have the energy to read more during my free time—my eyes are just too tired. That’s why I tried Audible, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Now I can listen to a book while I’m working out at the gym or before bed. Audible works on most smartphones, tablets, and computers, so it really is a versatile platform for audiobooks. I highly recommend it.

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