An Apple A Day

An Apple A Day

The Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths About the Foods We Eat

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
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.

Baker & Taylor
Presents infomation about the health benefits of certain fruits, vegetables, and vitamins, discussing recent research debunking popular myths and supporting claims, as well as listing the pros and cons of additives and other substances in the food supply.

Publisher: New York : Other Press, c2009
ISBN: 9781590513118
Branch Call Number: 363.8 Sch95a
Characteristics: ix, 354 p. ; 24 cm


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britprincess1ajax Feb 02, 2017

AN APPLE A DAY reads more like a seemingly neverending anthology of two- to three-page editorials on modern food and health topics, rather than as a cohesive whole. There were a few interesting tidbits, but overall, I wasn't impressed. You just can't sit down and read AN APPLE A DAY. It's more of a research resource to descramble the hypocrisies of nutritional science, a book built off its index. For recreational reading, I wouldn't recommend it.

ksoles May 19, 2011

Oddly enough for an arts major, one of my favourite classes at McGill was a chemistry elective: The World of Chemistry - Food. The course focused on food science and included lectures on artificial sweeteners, chocolate, cholesterol and much more. I found it fascinating, especially since the three co-professors seemed so engaged in the material and so eager to pass on their knowledge. One such prof, Dr. Joe Schwarcz, recently gave a lecture at UVic, which Jean and I attended and thoroughly enjoyed. An Apple A Day is Dr. Schwarcz's most recent book; it aims to dispel nutrition myths, to offset fear-mongering (think BPAs, GMOs etc), and to generally preach "informed common sense."

"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." This is the kind of contradictory information that bombards consumers/newspaper readers everyday. And it demonstrates why we need Joe Schwarcz! First describing how food affects human health, his book examines the compounds in tomatoes, soy, broccoli etc. that, though not panaceas, can help maintain health. Then Dr. Schwarcz investigates how corporations manipulate our food supply, delving into the science of food additives and exploring how we might benefit from adding bacteria to certain foods. He sheds light on contaminants, examining everything from pesticide residues to remnants of antibiotics to trans fats to toxins that may leach into food from cookware. Finally, he takes a studied look at calorie consumption and debunks the "science" behind popular diets.

This is an amazing book for anyone concerned about nutrition who feels overwhelmed by conflicting media reports and manipulated by advertising. Dr. Schwarcz presents sound evidence and facts in a scientific (but not too scientific), lighthearted manner, reminding us that "science can never guarantee safety, it can only demonstrate harm." Check out his office's website too:

Amandatoryrant May 03, 2011

I expected some overarching narrative to tie the information together but it is a series of 2 -3 page essays. A resource to debunk myths and answer questions if you don't care to read scientific studies, but not a book to "read".


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