CityU Library Reviews “Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health.”

cover image of Death by Food Pyramid

Review by Sara Hatch, Library Technician

Sara Hatch, CityU Library
Sara Hatch, CityU Library

As the Wellness Chair here at CityU, I try to keep up on various wellness topics, and nutrition is my personal favorite, so the food nerd in me rejoiced when I found Denise Minger’s book, Death by Food Pyramid. 

Her book begins with a history of the USDA food pyramid.  As she walks us through the series of events that led to the formation of the first food pyramid, Denise shows how and why our public health has been betrayed by bad science and aggressive PR by special interest groups.  Integrating history and science in a way that is not only easy to read, but a genuine pleasure, she introduces all the players in this food pyramid drama and shares their research, their passion, and their participation in the ongoing debate about what the best diet for humans might be.

Then, drawing on her own critical thinking skills, she offers some guidelines on how to choose the “experts” you trust, how to evaluate good versus bad science, and finally she distills for us some of the diets that have been studied with successful outcomes and looks at their commonalities.  In the end, she points out that the thing that successful “healthy” diets have in common is that they eliminate the modern heavily processed foods including refined sugar, refined flour, industrially processed vegetable oils, and chemical preservatives that plague our standard American diet.

Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health. Minger, Denise. 2013. Malibu, CA: Primal Blueprint Publishing. 300 pages. Check to find a copy at the library closest to you.

Curriculum Connections

There are a variety of disciplines which might benefit from exploring the themes discussed in Death By Food Pyramid. Denise Minger’s focus on critical thinking, and how to decipher scientific studies is a valuable skill in many fields, including counseling, education, general studies, and would be of benefit to any beginning or even advanced researcher.

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Published July 17, 2015



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