The Degradation of Food and the Struggle for Healthy Eating (UBC Press, 2013)
The Industrial Diet chronicles the long-term transformation of food from essential nutrients into edible commodities that far too often
fail to nourish us. This book reveals
how a combination of technological changes, population growth, and political and economic factors helped constitute and transform mass diets from the nineteenth century
to the present day. In The Industrial Diet Anthony Winson details how the dominant economic logic of pushing product for profit has resulted in the systematic degradation of food and led to the saturation of our food environments with nutrient poor edible commodities.
This book argues that this degradation of our food can be boiled down to three basic processes: the simplification of food, the speed-up of food making, and the widespread adulteration of food, notably with sugar, salt and fat. Each of these related processes is given a detailed examination, as is the mass marketing and spatial colonization of a suite of problematic edible products that constitute the industrial diet. Particular attention is given to the globalization of the industrial diet in contemporary times, and the emerging health burden of this diet in the developed and developing world. Not surprisingly, there has been an ever-increasing resistance to this industrial diet, and this book seeks to give the reader some idea of its scope and promise by providing American and Canadian case studies of ‘transformative’ alternative food organizations that offer realistic and innovative strategies for a healthier future.