A Bone to Pick Summary By Mark Bittman

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

A Bone to Pick (2015) is an informative collection of articles which presents the many systemic problems in the American food industry.

Written by acclaimed journalist and author Mark Bittman, this compilation, originally published in the New York Times, outlines the governmental and agricultural issues that are preventing progress within our food system – an issue which affects us all, as well as our planet.

If you're interested in learning more about why our food industry is underperforming and what we can do to change it, then A Bone to Pick is an essential read that needs to be on your shelf.

A Bone to Pick

Book Name: A Bone to Pick (The Good and Bad News About Food)

Author(s): Mark Bittman

Rating: 3.1/5

Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Categories: Health & Nutrition

Author Bio

Mark Bittman is an acclaimed writer for the New York Times and New York Times Magazine.

He's made quite a mark on the food world with his bestselling books such as How to Cook Everything and VB6.

In addition, his latest literary work entitled A Bone to Pick, provides an unparalleled insight into modern society and its connection with food choices.

Through a series of stories, opinions, recipes, and insights into the political, socio-economic aspects of nutrition - all backed with science-based evidence - readers can get a real flavour for healthy eating decisions that best suits their lifestyle.

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Improving Our Food System with Mark Bittman

Food System with Mark Bittman

In Mark Bittman’s book, A Bone to Pick, he stresses the importance of understanding the food system and our eating habits.

This knowledge is key to taking practical steps on how we can improve our diets and health.

He talks about becoming a flexitarian and avoiding organic produce from Peru for better nutrition.

He also goes into detail on what the government could do to help us be healthier eaters.

At the end of it all, Bittman emphasizes that education is key when it comes to food and dieting.

If we take just a few steps to understand more about our meals and make small changes in our diet, we can improve our overall health significantly.

The Potential of Agroecology to Fight Hunger and Reduce Global Warming

The food industry has a major impact on many pressing global issues.

By making small changes to the way we produce and consume food, we could have an immense impact on things like climate change, hunger, and poverty.

Agroecology is one potential solution that could help address these issues.

It’s a combination of ecology and agriculture that promotes the use of crop rotation in order to improve yield by introducing biodiversity into the soil.

For example, if you had two plots of land – Plot One with a simple cycle of soybeans then corn; and Plot Two with a complex cycle including oats, soybeans and corn – then Plot Two would end up yielding more because of its diverse crop rotation.

Adding other plants such as alfalfa can further enrich the yield.

We Can Reduce The Suffering of Livestock by Providing Better Living Conditions, Limiting Their Ability to Feel Pain, Eating Organic Meat, and Cutting Back on Meat Consumption

Organic Meat

The inordinate amount of meat consumed in America is concerning not only for the animals, but also for humans.

Too much meat can cause a multitude of problems both in terms of animal welfare and human health.

To tackle the issue, there are steps we can take to try and reduce the suffering of our livestock.

For example, providing them with more humane living conditions, minimizing or eliminating the ability of livestock to feel pain, consuming organic meat instead of industrially produced ones, and eating less meat overall.

Furthermore, it’s important that steps are taken by organizations such as the US Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture.

The FDA should start restricting usage of antibiotics in animals due to consumption leading to antibiotic resistance on our part whereas USDA should declare salmonella and E.

coli as adulterants resulting from these organisms being found in food products thus needing to be taken off the market.

Overall, when it comes to detrimental effects animals and people experience regarding overconsumption of meat- prevention is better than cure so changing our lifestyle habits constitute an immediate step we must take towards achieving this end result.

The Best Option for Dinner? Cook for Yourself!

Do you ever have a hard time deciding what to eat? Your best bet is to take control of your diet and cook for yourself.

When you get the ingredients yourself, you know exactly where they come from, which is especially helpful if you follow any specific diets.

Plus, making dinner at home can be much more cost-effective than eating out.

For instance, $14 might buy all the ingredients for a roast chicken dinner that can serve four people compared to about $28 for a relatively meagre fast food dinner for the same amount of people.

Not only does cooking save you money and provide better nutrition, but it also lets you know what’s actually going into your meal.

While fast food may contain questionable components like fatty materials and chemicals, a carefully prepared dish in your own kitchen contains every single ingredient that went into it – no mysteries!

Finally, drinking sugary drinks isn’t truly food!

Avoid sugary beverages like soda that don’t really count as food — it’s roughly equivalent to having nine teaspoons of sugar in one cup of coffee.

It’s also worthwhile trying to cut down on solid fats and added sugars (SOFAs) like chips or cereal bars so try your best to keep these items out of your house altogether and cook healthy meals instead!

Enjoy Life and Eat Healthy With a Mediterranean Diet of Real Food

Eat Healthy

Making small changes to your diet can have a major impact on your health.

It all starts with choosing real food: any food that is made up of six ingredients or less.

Vegetables are especially great as they only consist of one ingredient!

Additionally, you should aim to stay away from highly processed foods that contain high amounts of solid fats and added sugars.

You can also keep an eye out for the glycemic index- certain carbs (like whole-grain bread) have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t have a big impact on your blood sugar; while unhealthy carbs (like granola bars) have a high glycemic index, and should be avoided.

It’s also important to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet.

Eat various foods, but in moderation- and try to limit intake of red meat, sugar, and hyper-processed carbs.

Eating like the Mediterranean diet is beneficial- olive oil, vegetables, fish, eggs etc always being good choices can help ensure you maintain variety and balance in what you eat.

Overall, real food is best- it takes small changes to make those major impacts on your health!

We Need to Reform the Food Industry for Personal and Economic Reasons

Reforming the food industry is an important undertaking that stands to benefit humanity in numerous ways.

We often hear about how this transformation could help animals, the environment and reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals, but we should not forget the thousands of human lives saved annually from preventable disorders like diabetes II and cardiovascular diseases.

Childhood obesity, for example, has reached new heights in recent years and unhealthy eating habits during childhood can have long-term consequences on health and overall quality of life.

With children being exposed to no more than 5,500 food ads every year on TV alone, implementing strategies to protect them from a dietary crisis is paramount.

The potential of improved nutrition extends beyond reducing mortality as researchers estimate that an increase in fruit consumption by Americans with at least one extra serving per day could decrease deaths caused by cardiovascular disease by 30,000.

While increasing daily servings of vegetables could even increase these numbers to an estimated 100,000 lives saved each year.

Furthermore, reform must extend beyond healthier nutritional options and into fair economic practices within the food industry workforce given that they ensure our access to this life essential resource everyday.

The “Hands that Feed Us” report shed light on workers exhibiting minimal wages below $19,000 yearly without benefitting form insurance coverage or sick leave allowances among other humbling conditions.

However through dedicated advocacy such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers celebrated victory in 2011 advocating for better working circumstances such as increased safety precautions against harmful pesticides making it evident the progress towards a better food system is possible.

It’s clear that reforming the food industry offers multiple benefits that positively affect both humans and our environment alike proving why this mission is instrumental for everyone involved in food production and beyond.

It’s Clear That Food Industry Reform Is a Matter of Both Business and Health

Food Industry

It’s clear that the food industry needs to be regulated more strictly.

Governments should implement tax policies to increase prices on unhealthy foods and discourage consumers from purchasing them.

Mexico, for example, introduced a 10 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and an 8 percent tax on junk food in 2014.

In addition, governments should subsidize weaker economic sectors in agriculture in order to help them compete in the market better.

This could include awarding cash prizes or lowering taxes for farms that treat their animals well, as an incentive for them to continue doing so.

Lastly, one of the most important areas which require tighter regulations is food labeling.

We need clearer labeling with three main components – nutrition, foodness, and welfare.

These criteria can ensure consumers are aware of what they’re eating and buying, with respect to health outcomes and environmental effects.

Wrap Up

A Bone to Pick summarizes the need for change in the American food industry.

It’s crucial that we all make mindful decisions when it comes to what we eat, and the government must take action to better regulate the food industry so that its impact on our health and the environment is minimized.

The book offers some simple, actionable advice for us to follow in order to make a difference – even if it’s a small one.

We can support producers who are both conscious of their environmental footprint and pay their workers fairly; cook for ourselves as much as possible; and opt for vegetarian alternative dishes instead of regular ones every now and then.

With these small changes, we can significantly contribute to the betterment of our health, planet, and agricultural industry.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.