How to be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet

Sophie Egan. Workman, $16.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-5235-0738-2
Egan (Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are), a contributor to the New York Times’s Well blog, offers a “radically practical” approach to eating both ethically and well in her insightful book. Using a three-question framework—asking whether something is good for oneself, for others, and for the planet—Egan presents thought-provoking ways to consider food choices, such as how much water a particular food item requires to produce. For instance, a handful of almonds require 23 gallons of water, while a stick of string cheese needs less. But cheese’s carbon footprint is higher, and the nuts are healthier. Or one could opt for peanuts, which use less water than other nuts and are more affordable to boot. The section on seafood encompasses not only safety (via checking Seafoodwatch.org) but the effect on ocean habitats as well as fair wages for fishermen. Egan displays a talent for making the environmental complexities of food choices comprehensible, so that even discussions of food waste are intriguing. Setting a positive and encouraging tone throughout, she provides a thorough primer to combining health consciousness and environmental responsibility. Agent: Danielle Svetcov, Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary. (Mar.)

This review has been updated to reflect a change to the book's title that was made after the review was published.

Reviewed on : 11/13/2019
Release date: 03/17/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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