In First Bite, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists, neuroscientists, and nutritionists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a whole host of factors: family and culture, memory and gender, hunger and love. Taking the reader on a journey across the globe, Wilson introduces us to people who can only eat foods of a certain color; prisoners of war whose deepest yearning is for Mom's apple pie; a nine year old anosmia sufferer who has no memory of the flavor of her mother's cooking; toddlers who will eat nothing but hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches; and researchers and doctors who have pioneered new and effective ways to persuade children to try new vegetables. Wilson examines why the Japanese eat so healthily, whereas the vast majority of teenage boys in Kuwait have a weight problem--and what these facts can tell Americans about how to eat better.
The way we learn to eat holds the key to why food has gone so disastrously wrong for so many people. But Wilson also shows that both adults and children have immense potential for learning new, healthy eating habits. An exploration of the extraordinary and surprising origins of our tastes and eating habits, First Bite also shows us how we can change our palates to lead healthier, happier lives.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Most of what we learn about food happens when were childrenwhen were sitting at the kitchen table (if youre lucky enough to have one), being fed, says Wilson (Consider the Fork), a food writer and historian. Wilson takes a scholarly approach in this smart and telling journey that outlines food habits and where they originate. Mixing science with anecdotes, she incorporates past studies, including one landmark research study on infants inherent patterns of taste, explicating the sometimes-conflicting theories scholars spun from the outcome, Wilson debunks the notion that appetite is genetic and the idea that the body naturally selects what it needs. Old reports are countered by the latest research from food psychologists, neuroscientists, and biologists. Using brief tales, Wilson details many disorders across the consumption spectrum in an insightful and earnest tone that appeals to food-lovers and parents. Discussing everything from adults with stringent eating patterns to gendered weight misperceptions and changes in cultural norms, Wilson delineates how diets develop and, more importantly, how to make healthy modifications. Agent: Zoë Pagnamenta, Zoë Pagnamenta Agency. (Dec.)