In case you've never heard of John Robbins, I'll take this opportunity to point out that Baskin + Robbins = Baskin Robbins. St...

The Food Revolution by John Robbins


In case you've never heard of John Robbins, I'll take this opportunity to point out that Baskin + Robbins = Baskin Robbins.

Strange author for a book largely advocating a vegan diet, but perhaps all the more compelling. And this book certainly was compelling, if a little condescending.

The book is all about food, and specifically warns of the dangers associated with animal products. It's broken down into four sections. 

The first talks about health. I found this to be the most compelling section of the book, and it has helped me think of my body as a dynamic system critically linked to the food I eat. I am what I eat.

The second section touches on factory farming. It's relatively graphic, and I had a hard time reading this section. I've also had a harder time eating animal products since reading this section, which I suppose is the point.

The third section explains why eating animal products is detrimental to the environment. I found this to be the least compelling section of the book, particularly following the first two sections. However, we already eat relatively few animal products, and do a lot to minimize our environmental impact (like biking instead of driving!). If you're new to the idea of vegetarianism, this would be a great place to start.

The fourth section discusses genetically modified foods, particularly relevant given the push to label GMOs in California. I feel much more informed and passionate about the issue after reading this chapter, although I'm not sure what action I'm prepared to take.

When I finished the book, I was convinced I'd be vegan within the month. After taking a step back, reading some counter arguments, and developing my own opinions, it's unlikely. However, the book certainly increased my appreciation for our local farmers market, and made the price increase for cage free eggs and organic milk seem negligible.

My advice? If you're looking for an excuse to change your diet majorly, or in the process of learning about your food and factory farming, read this book. If you're just looking to get behind Meatless Monday, I'm guessing Michael Pollan would be a friendlier starting place. 

The Food Revolution asks very forcefully for some very major dietary changes. It takes a strong will and lots of research to preserve your sense of dietary identity. And in the end, you have to be comfortable with what you're eating, not John Robbins.

Coincidentally, John Robbins spoke at an event just outside Cafe Gratitude the day we were in Monterey. Had I known beforehand, I may have planned our day a little differently! 

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