Skip to main content
US Macmillan Tradebooks for Courses

What to Eat

Marion Nestle

North Point Press

What to Eat Download image

ISBN10: 0865477388
ISBN13: 9780865477384

Trade Paperback

624 Pages



Request Desk Copy
Request Exam Copy


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Winner of the James Beard Foundation Award

Since its publication in hardcover in 2006, Marion Nestle's What to Eat has become the definitive guide to making healthy and informed choices about food. Praised as "accessible, reliable and comprehensive" in The Washington Post, What to Eat is a resource packed with important information and useful advice from the acclaimed nutritionist.

How we choose which foods to eat is growing more complicated, and the straightforward, practical approach of What to Eat has been praised as welcome relief. Nestle guides readers through the supermarket sections—produce, dairy, meat, fish, breads, and juices, and then to the "center aisles," where big profits are made. She uses clear language to reveal the big food companies' marketing practices and get to the heart of the real issues. She cuts through foodie jargon and complex nutrition labels and debunks the misleading health claims made by the major companies in the food industry. Nestle explains the differences between foods that are wild and those that are farm-raised; frozen and fresh; and organic, natural, and conventional. She tells us what we need to know about carbohydrates, omega-3s, and trans fats; pesticides and the environment; portion size, labeling, and nutrition claims; supplements, additives, and preservatives; and food safety.


Praise for What to Eat

"Not only is What to Eat the most comprehensive guide to the political and nutritional choices we make shopping for food, but it's also full of up-to-date research on health."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"With this comprehensive guide, Nestle, a nutritionist, makes the weekly trip to the grocery less daunting and a healthy diet more attainable."—Science News

"[This] book is for anyone who has read a food label; been annoyed at how often their children nag them for certain cereals; wondered about the difference between natural and organic; or questioned who is minding the store when it comes to nutrition and food safety."—Marian Burros, The New York Times

"Nestle is simply one of the nation's smartest and most influential authorities on nutrition and food policy."—Carol Ness, San Francisco Chronicle

"Meticulously researched, thorough, and indispensable—Marion Nestle's What to Eat delivers on its title. It's a reliable, riveting guide to the amazing truth about what we're sold by the American food distribution system. Refreshingly rigorous and fun to read."—Alice Waters

"When it comes to the increasingly treacherous landscape of the American supermarket, with its marketing hype and competing health claims, Marion Nestle is an absolutely indispensable guide: knowledgeable, eminently sane—and wonderful company, too."—Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma

"Part muckraking journalism, part reference book and part consumer guide, What to Eat is organized in the manner suggested by the subtitle: as a walk down each grocery store aisle with a companionable Ph. D. researcher as the guide. It is a simple, yet effective, concept for organizing what otherwise could have become a mind-numbing amount of information."—Steve Weinberg, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The industry wants you to believe there are no good foods or bad foods. Well, that's not true. And I can't think of anyone who knows the difference better than Marion Nestle."—Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

"According to nutritionist Nestle, the increasing confusion among the general public about what to eat comes from two sources: experts who fail to create a holistic view by isolating food components and health issues, and a food industry that markets items on the basis of profits alone. She suggests that, often, research findings are deliberately obscure to placate special interests. Nestle says that simple, common-sense guidelines available decades ago still hold true: consume fewer calories, exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables and, for today's consumers, less junk food. The key to eating well, Nestle advises, is to learn to navigate through the aisles (and thousands of items) in large supermarkets. To that end, she gives readers a virtual tour, highlighting the main concerns of each food group, including baby, health and prepared foods, and supplements. Nestle's prose is informative and entertaining; she takes on the role of detective, searching for clues to the puzzle of healthy and satisfying nutrition. Her intelligent and reassuring approach will likely make readers venture more confidently through the jungle of today's super-sized stores."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt

What To Eat

The Supermarket: Prime Real Estate
A visit to a large supermarket can be a daunting experience: so many aisles, so many brands and varieties, so many prices to...

About the author

Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle is the most respected nutritionist in America today. Her book Food Politics was given the James Beard Award, the top award for food writing; that book and its follow-up, Safe Food, are backlist classics for the University of California Press. A longtime nutritionist and former head of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, Nestle lectures worldwide and was featured in the movie Super Size Me. A native New Yorker, she raised her family in California and now lives in Greenwich Village.

Marion Nestle

Official Links