Aaron Carroll, The Bad Food Bible & Kristin Lawless, Formerly Known As Food

We talk with Dr. Aaron Carroll about his book The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully. Then, Kristin Lawless tells us about why processed food is so bad for us. Her book is Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System Is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture.

Aaron Carroll

Advice about food can be confusing. It often seems that foods that were supposed to be good for us are suddenly found to be bad for us — and vice versa.

But as  Dr. Aaron Carroll explains in his book The Bad Food Bible, “bad” or “good” are oversimplifications that are both wrong and dangerous: if we stop consuming some of our most demonized ingredients altogether, it may actually hurt us.

In his book, Carroll examines the scientific evidence. He shows, among other things, that you can eat red meat several times a week, drink as much coffee as you want, have a drink a day and eat more salt. Carroll deconstructs the hype to tease out the scientific principles that should inform our decisions about the foods we eat.

Aaron Carrol is a doctor and a contributor to the New York Times Upshot column.

Kristin Lawless

If you think buying organic from Whole Foods is protecting you, you’re wrong. If it’s processed food, it may be little better than conventional food.

Our food—even what we’re told is good for us—has changed for the worse in the past 100 years. Its nutritional content is deteriorating due to industrial farming and climate change. Its composition has been altered because of the addition of thousands of chemicals, from pesticides to packaging, that find its way into it. (Like glyphosate, which has been found to be present in dangerous concentrations in kids’ breakfast cereals.) We simply no longer know what we’re eating.

In Formerly Known as Food, Kristin Lawless argues that, because of the degradation of our diet, our bodies are literally changing from the inside out. The billion-dollar food industry is reshaping our food preferences, altering our brains, changing the composition of our microbiome and even affecting the expression of our genes. Lawless chronicles how this is happening and what it means for our bodies, health, and survival.

Kristin Lawless is an independent journalist and nutrition expert.

Find Kristin Lawless’ delicious recipes to real whole food here.

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About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.