100+ Books on the Food Industry: If You Eat Food, Read Some

Megan is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.

Earlier this week, TakePart asked its Food, Inc community to share some of its favorite books about the food industry. With more than 850 replies, the response was overwhelming—and exciting.

We've compiled the whole list and broken it into four sections: the most mentioned books, the runner-ups, books related to diet, and cook books.

Michael Pollan placed three books in the 10 most-mentioned. But plenty of other great voices are in the mix, speaking on industrial agriculture, the obesity crisis, migrant farmworkers, pesticides, urban farming, and more.

Prepare to be informed.


avmAnimal Vegetable Miracle

Barbara Kingsolver details her family's quest to remove themselves from the culture of factory farms, chemical preservatives, and the thousands of miles food travels to reach their table. With her husband and daughters, Kingsolver starts a farm in Virginia to grow vegetables locally and eat seasonally.

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating With More Than 75 Recipes

New York Times food-politics columnist and cookbook author Mark Bittman goes straight-for-the-jugular in his anaylsis of how the food we eat is killing the environment. Still hopeful, Bittman offers what needs to change, and how to do it—including 77 recipes to help you start right away.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

Eating doesn't have to be complicated. Michael Pollan's book of 64 pithy, spot-on tips will help you navigate the grocery store without getting a headache. One example: "Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk."

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Eric Schlosser's expose reveals the devastation that a fast-food mentality has wreaked on America. In pursuit of homogenization and speed, the food industry has transformed America's diet, economy, and workforce for the worse, leaving us with flavor enhancers on our fries and feces in our hamburgers.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

The food we're eating is not really food, says Michael Pollan, and the way we're eating it isn't really eating. So what is the chicken sandwich you scarf down behind the wheel? "Edible foodlike substances." Pollan's here to defend the real stuff our grandmothers ate.

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet

If you're looking to go vegan, Alicia Silverstone can tell you how, without compromising your palette or your health. The actress, activist, and conservationist offers tips, strategies, and recipes to help you swear off meat and dairy for your health and the planet.

animal_factoryThe China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health

Based on surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, The China Study examines the connections between what people eat and their rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as the damage that fad dies of the West can do to our health.

Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment

Investigative journalist David Kirby follows anti-factory farm activists into the bowels of America's food and produce industry to uncover the sickening causes of swine flu, food recalls and other health woes.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

This book by Michael Pollan demonstrates the complexity of Americans' evolution and coexistence with our food supply. Tracing each food chain—industrial, organic food, alternative, and foraged food—Pollan offers a lucid account of Americans' way of eating, and what it means for our future.

Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food

For anyone who cares about what they're eating, farmer and writer Wendell Berry's book about the origins of food is a must-read. Berry emphasizes the importance of purity in what we eat, and answers the plethora of questions that arise as we try to do it.

The REST of the LIST

againstthegrainAgainst the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning

All Over Creation by Ruth L. Ozeki

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Its Food by Jonathan Bloom

An Agricultural Testament by Sir Albert Howard

Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement by Peter Singer

Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture by Jeremy Rifkin

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Reeducation of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton

Blood Never Lies by Ted Aloisio

Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

Bottom Feeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe

A Field Guide to Buying Organic by Luddene Perry

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard W. Wrangham

Chickens in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide by Rick Luttmann

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty by Mark Winne

Deadly Feasts: The 'Prion' Controversy and the Public's Health by Richard Rhodes

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It by Anna Lappe and Bill McKibben

Diet for a New America by John Robbins

Diet for a Poisoned Planet: How to Choose Safe Foods for You and Your Family by David Steinman

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully

Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace by Vandana Shiva

Eat Right for Your Blood Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer, and Achieving Your Ideal Weight by Peter J D'Adamo

Eat Right for Your Metabolism: The Individualized Diet Plan to Balance Body Chemistry, Lose Weight, and Prevent Disease by Felicia Kliment

Eat Your Heart Out: Why the Food Business Is Bad for the Planet and Your Health by Felicity Lawrence

Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffron Foer

Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe

Eat to Live: The Amazing, Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman

Empty Harvest by Bernard Jenson and Mark Anderson

theendoffoodEnd of Food: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Food Supply—And What We Can Do About It by Thomas Pawlick

Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman

Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front by Joel Salatin

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition by David R. Reuben

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell L. Blaylock

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Farm Together Now by Amy Franceschini, Daniel Tucker, and Mark Bittman

Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat by Temra Costa

Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell

Fateful Harvest: The True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry, and a Toxic Secret by Duff Wilson

Fighting the Food Giants by Paul A. Stitt

Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It by Kelly Brownell and Katherine Battle Horgan

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health by Marion Nestle

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins and Dean Ornish

Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge, a Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terrence McKenna

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano

Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice

Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Food by Jeffrey M. Smith

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes

Green Barbarians: Live Bravely on Your Home Planet by Ellen Sandbeck

Green Goes With Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet by Sloan Barnett

isourfoodsafeHarvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall, Gary McAvoy, and Gail Hudson

Hay Fever: How Chasing a Dream on a Vermont Farm Changed My Life by Angela Miller and Ralph Gardner Jr.

Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives by Carolyn Steel

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D' Aluisio

Invisible Giant: Cargill and Its Transnational Strategies by Brewster Kneen

Is Our Food Safe? A Consumer's Guide to Protecting Your Health and the Environment by Warren Leon and Caroline Smith Dewaal

Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen by Naomi Moriyama

Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly by James E. McWilliams

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World by Gina Mallet

Laurel Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings From the Ozarks by Stephen W. Hines

Let Them Eat Shrimp: The Tragic Disappearance of the Rainforests of the Sea by Kennedy Warne

Locavore: From Farmers' Fields to Rooftop Gardens—How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat by Sarah Elton

Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food by Daniel Charles

Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children by Ann Cooper and Lisa Holmes

Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman and Glen Merzer

Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights by Bob Torres

Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed by Vandana Shiva, Carlo Petrini, and Jamey Lionette

Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body by Jillian Michaels and Mariska van Aalst

May All Be Fed by John Robbins

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money by Erik Marcus

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink

monoculturesofthemindMonocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiveristy and Biotechnology by Vandana Shiva

Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal by Margaret Visser

My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki

Not on the Label: What Really Goes Into the Food on Your Plate by Felicity Lawrence

Nutrition’s Playground: It's All About Food in a Roundabout Way by B.J. Pratt and S. Norton

Old McDonald’s Factory Farm: The Myth of the Traditional Farm and the Shocking Truth About Animal Suffering in Today's Agribusiness by C. David Coats and Michael W. Fox

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe by Maria Rodale and Eric Schlosser

Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization by Spencer Wells

Planet Chicken: The Shameful Story of the Bird on Your Plate by Hattie Ellis and Nicky Ross

Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf: The Story of One Man, Two Cows, and the Feeding of a Nation by Peter Lovenheim

Rats in the Grain: The Dirty Tricks and Trials of Archer Daniels Midland, the Supermarket to the World by James B. Lieber

Real Food for a Change: Bringing Nature, Joy, and Justice to the World by Wayne; MacRae, Rod ; Stahlbrand, Lori; Roberts McRae

Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck

Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating by Jeffrey M. Smith

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry by Gail A. Eisnitz

Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth by Eric Herm

Soylent Green by Harry Harrison

Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice by Alissa Hamilton

Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply by Vandana Shiva

Strawberry Fields by Marina Lewycka

stuffed_and_starvedStuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System by Raj Patel

Sugar Blues by William F. Duffy

Sugar Shock: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life—And How You Can Get Back on Track by Connie Bennett and Stephen T. Sinatra

Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe

Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, Nutrasweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health by Joseph Mercola

The Hundred Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health by Randall Fitzgerald

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

The Compassionate Carnivore: Or, How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old MacDonald's Farm, Reduce Your Footprint, and Still Eat Meat by Catherine Friend

The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children by Carol N. Simontacchi

The Dirty Life: A Memoir on Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball

The End of Food by Paul Roberts

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler

The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat by Charles Clover

The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer and Jim Mason

The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

The Farmacist Desk Reference by Don Tolman

The Fast Food Craze: Wreaking Havoc on Our Bodies and Our Animals by Tina Volpe

The Fattening of America: How the Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Missing Peace: The Hidden Power of Our Kinship With Animals by Tina Volpe

The Hungry Gene: The Inside Story of the Obesity Industry by Ellen Ruppel Shell

The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner by Jay Rayner

The Milk Book: The Milk of Human Kindness Is Not Pasteurized by William Campbell Douglas II

The Nuts Among the Berries: An Exposé of America's Food Fads by Ronald M. Deutsch

obesity_epidemicThe Obesity Epidemic: What Caused It? How Can We Stop It? Zoe Harcombe

The Passionate Story of a Growing Movement to Restore Biodiversity and Revolutionize the Way We Think About Food by Ken Ausubel

The Pornography of Meat by Carol J. Adams

The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle by Mike Anderson

The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements by Sandor Ellix Katz

The Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Hahn Niman

The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams

The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food by Ben Hewitt

The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother's Shocking Investigations Into the Dangers of America's Food Supply—And What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself by Robyn O'Brien

The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry

The Untold Story of Milk: The History, Politics, and Science of Nature's Perfect Food: Raw Milk From Pasture-Fed Cows by Ron Schmid

The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy by Raj Patel

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works—And How It's Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman

The Whole New Foods Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating by Rebecca Wood, Peggy Markel, and Paul Pitchford

The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food by Kaayla T. Daniel

The World According to Monsanto by Marie-Monique Robin

This Crazy Vegan Life: A Prescription for an Endangered Species by Christina Perello

Toxin by Robin Cook

what_to_eat_nextleTwinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats by Steve Ettlinger

Unsafe at Any Meal by Earl Mindell

Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World by Kathy Freston

Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal by Tristram Stuart

We Don’t Die, We Kill Ourselves: Our Foods Are Killing Us! by Roger L. de Haan

Why Your Child Is Hyperactive by Ben F. Feingold

What to Eat by Marion Nestle

Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow's Milk and Your Health by Joseph Keon

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes

With These Hands: The Hidden World of Migrant Farm Workers Today by Daniel Rothenberg and Robert Coles

You Don’t Need Meat by Peter Cox

Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and Secret Changes in Your Food by Andrew Kimbrell

Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty by F. Batmanghelidj

Diet Related

150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why by Jonny Bowden

Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings by Neal Barnard

Changing Habits, Changing Lives by Cyndi Omeara

Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself by Alejandro Junger

Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr, Rory Freedman, and Dean Ornish

Eat, Move, and Be Healthy by Paul Chek

Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Alternative to Trans Fats by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon

grain_damageFire Your Diet: 17 Simple Steps to Stay Out of the Doctor's Office by Joe Kasper

Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond and Marilyn Diamond

Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L.

Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses by Charlotte Gerson

Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman

Grain Damage: Re-thinking the High-Starch Diet by Douglas N. Graham

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived People by John Robbins

The Hippocrates’ Diet and Health Program by Ann Wigmore

Holler for Your Health: Be the Key to a Healthy Family by Teresa Holler

Hippocrates Life Force by Brian R. Clement

More Natural Cures Revealed by Kevin Trudeau

Natural Cures 'They' Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin

The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony by Will M. Tuttle

What Would Jesus Eat: The Ultimate Program for Eating Well, Feeling Great, and Living Longer by Don Colbert

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz

You Are What You Eat: The Plan That Will Change Your Life by Gillian McKeith

Your Healthy Journey: Discovering Your Body's Full Potential by Fred Bisci


Food Lovers Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon

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