Food Fix- a prescription for our sick food system.
Updated: Jun 14
Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet-One Bite at a Time
Dr Mark Hyman, 2020
Weight loss tip #6- read books on food and diet to get a new perspective.
Food Fix is a manifesto against America's current food system. Dr. Mark Hyman has written several books on nutrition and a leader in the field of integrative medicine, an up-and-coming field that focuses on the whole patient and their environment.
This book makes some strong claims against our system, backed up by a wealth of footnotes in the back. What is refreshing is that for each problem Dr. Hyman sees in the system, he finds a "food fix" that is already in use somewhere in the world that would make it better. This keeps the book from being a depressing screed on how fat and unhealthy we all are. Instead it is a call to arms.
Among the claims from the book:
$95 Trillion dollars has been wasted from our economy on chronic illnesses over the last 35 years, and 11 million people die yearly from lifestyle diseases, most of which can be traced to bad diets.
Over 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese, with the obese number creeping up.
40% of all food harvested is wasted and thrown out
60% of the calories we consume come from processed and not whole foods.
At current usage levels we have maybe 60 years of good crops left before the soils around the world go dead.
Only 2% of America's cropland is used for fruits and vegetables, while 60% goes to commodity crops like wheat, corn and soybeans
The bit about the soils going dead got my attention, but forecasting anything 60 years from now is next to impossible. The author also covers global warming and modern agriculture's huge contributions to climate change and carbon levels. The first chapter, The True Cost of Food, is an eye opener that goes over many of the unintended consequences of our modern agricultural system. This is a long, fact-laden book, but I will try to summarize the main points below.
Dr. Hyman briefly summarizes his own dietary recommendations which line up pretty closely with other books I've read.
Eat whole plants but go easy on fruits
Regeneratively raised animal meat is okay, and low-mercury fish is good
Eat beans, unprocessed whole grains, nuts and seeds, and pasture raised eggs.
Avoid sugar (especially added sugars), pesticides, hormones, GMO's and bad oils like corn, canola, and soybean