Title: Panic on a Plate
Author: Rob Lyons
Publisher: Imprint Academic, 2011
Reviewer: Louise Goodyear, mature access student
What was it like?
Panic on Plate is a refreshing take on how we perceive food in society today. I found this book to be a fascinating read as it certainly challenges misconceptions that as a society we have with food, diets and how the middle class dominate the food industry.
I enjoy the way this book takes quite a sociological outlook on food consumption, that food is monopolised by a capitalist society and we as the working class are perhaps misguided by the government to eat our five-a-day, when in fact we should be able to make a free choice on what we consume.
Panic on a plate looks at how many feel robbed of the enjoyment that food gives us when in fact we should be embracing food when there are so many in other countries still starving and undernourished.
It looks at many sides of the arguments that food is blamed for our obesity time bomb when in fact it could be seen that alternative food manufactures have indeed planted a seed of doubt in our heads that junk is bad, and organic is the way forward.
Rob Lyons argues that junk food is in fact as nutritious as healthy food and gives many references from other food critics and health professions, which I feel is true due to having been on a weight loss/food journey myself, I can relate to a lot of the content in this book.
What were the highlights?
This title is definitely a must for anyone who loves food but dreads that it will make me fat or unhealthy, which is probably half of the population.
I enjoyed the light-hearted approach but the serious messages that the book conveyed that being thin and constantly worrying about what we consume is no way to live. It encourages us to embrace food. This book helps you see there are ways to make healthy choices but have a bit of what you fancy as well, which may ensure we as a nation may be able to enjoy our food more and appreciate what we have.
Strengths & weaknesses:
I feel that the book overall has many strengths, those being the inclusion of familiar names into the text so that you can relate to these famous people whoshare your view on food. It has many statistics, which I felt were useful as well.
No real weaknesses in this book other than I was disappointed when I came to the end. I could have read on and on.
Who should read it?
I feel this book will have a varied audience, such as health professionals interested in lifestyle changes and food, dieticians, nurses and even the general public whom perhaps need a light-hearted candid look on how food is consumed in society today.
Also student nurses will enjoy it. I think when I start my nursing in September this book will be invaluable within the health promotion aspect of my course.