The best books for people who love to eat (in the future)

Why am I passionate about this?

My world is motivated by food: what to eat, when to eat, where to eat. At least since I was 12, when I was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes. This is when I learned the “boring” things like carbs, fat, protein, and fiber. Scrutiny of my diet, and the food I ate, became a passion and finally my career. Not only in what I buy at the grocery store or put on my plate, but in the topics I write about. For me, food comes with its life-sustaining compliment: Insulin. How will techno foods be processed in my body? This question drives me to understand future foods at a molecular level, and then to share what I’ve learned in my writing. 

I wrote...

Book cover of Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley's Mission to Change What We Eat

What is my book about?

In this first comprehensive survey of the burgeoning world of food-tech, Technically Food examines the trade-os of replacing real food with technology-driven approximations. Chapters go into detail about algae, fungi, pea protein, cultured milk & eggs, upcycled foods, plant-based burgers, vertical farms, cultured meat, and how they will all be marketed. In the final chapter, author Larissa Zimberoff talks to industry voices––including Dan Barber, Mark Cuban, Marion Nestle, and Paul Shapiro––to hear where they see food in 20 years.

As our food system leaps ahead to a sterilized lab of the future, we think we know more about our food than we ever did. But because so much is happening so rapidly, we actually know less. This book arms food lovers with the right questions as they navigate the supermarket aisles.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food

Larissa Zimberoff Why did I love this book?

I can’t remember how I discovered this book, but once I cracked open the spine and began reading, I found myself going underline crazy.

The book is a captivating read about the history of the future of food, which is a bit of a tongue twister. How do we look back to the future? Belasco does this by investigating the ways in which we’ve projected our current outlook (from fears to concerns) around what’s to come––a bit of doomsday Tarot card reading if you will.

Despite its pub date, 2006, the book continues to inform. Belasco, a professor emeritus of American Studies at the University of Baltimore, helped bring food studies into a legitimate academic field. 

By Warren Belasco,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Meals to Come as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this provocative and lively addition to his acclaimed writings on food, Warren Belasco takes a sweeping look at a little-explored yet timely topic: humanity's deep-rooted anxiety about the future of food. People have expressed their worries about the future of the food supply in myriad ways, and here Belasco explores a fascinating array of material ranging over two hundred years - from futuristic novels and films to world's fairs, Disney amusement parks, supermarket and restaurant architecture, organic farmers' markets, debates over genetic engineering, and more. Placing food issues in this deep historical context, he provides an innovative framework for…

Book cover of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health

Larissa Zimberoff Why did I love this book?

I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about food until reading this book.

Marion Nestle is a writer who doesn’t back down from a fight. She says exactly what she thinks. Nestle, a professor emerita at New York University, has been writing about the industry for decades and she understands deeply what food marketers are doing when they try to sell us junk food or when an academic study is funded by the very companies that benefit from “positive results” found in the study.

She helps readers (like me!) understand what we should be eating while simultaneously giving us a better grip on all the food-like stuff we’re told to eat. This book will make you feel better about what you put on your plate.

By Marion Nestle,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Food Politics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing expose, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. The abundance of food in the United States - enough calories to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child twice over - has a downside. Our over-efficient food industry must do everything possible to persuade people to eat more - more food, more often, and in larger portions - no matter what it does to waistlines or well-being. Like…

Book cover of The Case Against Sugar

Larissa Zimberoff Why did I love this book?

Can you recall dipping your finger into a pile of sugar and placing it on your tongue?

Sugar is a magical ingredient that does far more than sweeten. It keeps food moist and soft and it extends the shelf-life in packaged foods. These are just a few reasons why we’re hooked on sugar and Gary Taubes takes us deep into sugars’ history.

What he uncovers is the opposite of sweet. We’re hooked, he tells us, and it’s the reason our chronic conditions are still on the rise. Taubes’ book pulls you along following the investigative journey on how sugar rose to dominance and what it’s doing to human health.

By Gary Taubes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Case Against Sugar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half a billion adults and 40 million children on the planet are obese. Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic. Evidence increasingly shows that these illnesses are linked to the other major Western diseases: hypertension, heart disease, even Alzheimer's and cancer, and that shockingly, sugar is likely the single root cause. Yet the nutritional advice we receive from public health bodies is muddled, out of date, and frequently contradictory, and in many quarters still promotes the unproven hypothesis that fats are the greatest evil.

With expert science and compelling storytelling, Gary Taubes investigates the history of nutritional science which, shaped…

Book cover of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor

Larissa Zimberoff Why did I love this book?

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to stop eating a bag of chips? It’s because this “stuff” has been engineered to make us overeat.

Why do food companies want us to eat more than we need? Because our over-caloric consumption equals profits. It’s complicated stuff but Mark Schatzker illuminates what’s behind this crafty food engineering in an eminently readable book about food and flavor science.

If you’re like me you’ll be happy to learn the underpinnings of our food systems, even when it’s not so flattering.

By Mark Schatzker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Dorito Effect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lively argument from award-winning journalist proving the key to reversing health crisis lies in the overlooked link between nutrition and flavour: "The Dorito Effect is one of the most important health and food books I have read" (Dr. David B. Agus, New York Times bestselling author).
We are in the grip of a food crisis. Obesity has become a leading cause of preventable death, after only smoking. For nearly half a century we've been trying to pin the blame somewhere, fat, carbs, sugar, wheat, high-fructose corn syrup. But that search has been in vain, because the food problem that's…

Book cover of Diet for a Small Planet: The Book That Started a Revolution in the Way Americans Eat

Larissa Zimberoff Why did I love this book?

I’ve read this book twice, and each time I’ve found new reasons to tell people why to read it.

Frances Moore Lappé’s thoughts on the impact of industrially-scaled animal agriculture on our planet were so forward thinking. True then, in 1971 when she wrote the book, it continues to ring true today, more than 50 years later.

It’s a conversation that is propelling almost all of the food-tech innovations we’re seeing today, from lab-grown meat to chicken-less egg protein and precision dairy. Lappé’s writing is thoughtful and easy to follow. There are even a few timeless recipes if you like to cook.

By Frances Moore Lappe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diet for a Small Planet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover a way of eating that revolutionized the meaning of our food choices and sold more than 3 million copies—now in a 50th-anniversary edition with a timely introduction plus new and updated plant-centered recipes
“Frances Moore Lappé is one of the few people who can credibly be said to have changed the way we eat—and one of an even smaller group to have done it for the better.”—The New York Times
In 1971, Diet for a Small Planet broke new ground, revealing how our everyday acts are a form of power to create health for ourselves and our planet. This…

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American Flygirl

By Susan Tate Ankeny,

Book cover of American Flygirl

Susan Tate Ankeny Author Of The Girl and the Bombardier: A True Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied France

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Susan Tate Ankeny left a career in teaching to write the story of her father’s escape from Nazi-occupied France. In 2011, after being led on his path through France by the same Resistance fighters who guided him in 1944, she felt inspired to tell the story of these brave French patriots, especially the 17-year-old- girl who risked her own life to save her father’s. Susan is a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, the Air Force Escape and Evasion Society, and the Association des Sauveteurs d’Aviateurs Alliés. 

Susan's book list on women during WW2

What is my book about?

The first and only full-length biography of Hazel Ying Lee, an unrecognized pioneer and unsung World War II hero who fought for a country that actively discriminated against her gender, race, and ambition.

This unique hidden figure defied countless stereotypes to become the first Asian American woman in United States history to earn a pilot's license, and the first female Asian American pilot to fly for the military.

Her achievements, passionate drive, and resistance in the face of oppression as a daughter of Chinese immigrants and a female aviator changed the course of history. Now the remarkable story of a fearless underdog finally surfaces to inspire anyone to reach toward the sky.

American Flygirl

By Susan Tate Ankeny,

What is this book about?

One of WWII’s most uniquely hidden figures, Hazel Ying Lee was the first Asian American woman to earn a pilot’s license, join the WASPs, and fly for the United States military amid widespread anti-Asian sentiment and policies.

Her singular story of patriotism, barrier breaking, and fearless sacrifice is told for the first time in full for readers of The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia, Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown and all Asian American, women’s and WWII history books.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in sugar, agriculture, and vegetarian cuisine?

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