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Reviews

Times article (March 3, 2009)

10 things we didn’t know about food

How the authors of the new Rough Guide to Food lost their appetites for the food industry. Cont.
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Western Daily Press: interview (March 6, 2009)

A guide to what’s on your plate and how it got there

Food, glorious food has been the all-consuming topic engrossing the media, politicians and celebrity culture in recent years.

From Jamie’s School Dinners and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign to improve the treatment of chickens, to growing your own veg and the accusations of price-fixing by supermarkets, it seems as a nation we’re not just eating more food but obsessing about it more too.

Now the first food bible that aims to dig beneath the myths and celebrity endorsements has been published.

The Rough Guide to Food, researched and penned by Bath-based writers Katharine Reeve and George Miller, explores topics as varied as GM food, global sustainability, and shocking facts about the food industry and the stranglehold of big supermarkets.

The guide, which is being launched at independent Bath booksellers Topping and Company next Thursday, is the result of 18 months’ gruelling research by Ms Reeve and Mr Miller who are confident they have achieved what they set out to do – offering good honest advice on how to tackle the prickly food issue.

Ms Reeve, who works in publishing and teaches creative writing and publishing at Bath Spa University, was an early convert to the home-delivered vegetable box.

She said: “When we set out to write this book, we couldn’t understand why nobody had tried to tackle the subject before, but now we know, because it’s immensely complex and there are so many myths and misinformation.

“But although it was tough, every bit of the slog was worth it and I think we have produced a book which appeals, not just to those with a specific academic interest in food, but those who may want to use it as a reference book on all sorts of topics, be it Fair Trade products, the organic movement or making healthier kids’ packed lunches.”

Together the writers, who live together, put their local area and the region to the fresh food test, and feel they have identified many unsung heroes of food production.

“We’ve found people like Olives et al in Dorset, Meg Rivers Cakes in Gloucestershire, Don Jones Fresh Fish in Wellington and Hobbs House bakery, which are all products of extremely high quality which are still affordable.

“The myth the supermarkets peddle that organic food is elitist and expensive is just plain wrong as people like Riverford Organic have been circulating cheap, good-quality organic produce for ages and their boxes are on average 22 per cent cheaper than the major supermarkets.”

Both writers praised campaigns by chefs such as Oliver and Fearnley-Whittingstall, they had little good to say about Delia Smith’s How to Cheat at Cooking, saying her fish pie was expensive and had too many ingredients.
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Health & Fitness Magazine (April 2009)

Nutrition Book of the Month

“In this illuminating book, authors Miller and Reeve aim to dispel some of the confusion about healthy eating and the origins of modern foods. With fascinating chapters o our changing food culture and the rise of supermarkets, facts on food processing that may shock you, and top tips on how to make better food choices, this offers brilliant information.

Read this and you’ll be better informed, and will hopefully be inspired to track down, and cook, genuinely wholesome food.”

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Metro newspaper (February 24th 2009)

Shoparound, Buy Me: The Rough Guide to Food
“Takes you from crop to shop, brimming with facts.

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Londonnet.com: review (March 17, 2009)

From Crop To Shop – The New Rough Guide To Food

From Jamie’s Ministry of Food to Labour’s promise of better school dinners, from global environmental concerns to the plight of UK farmers, food is constantly in our headlines, politics and entertainment. But behind the celebrities, the hype, the catch words and the packaging, how much do we really know about the food we eat, where it comes from and what impact it has on the environment?

One of the first accessible, broad-ranging books on contemporary food, The Rough Guide to Food takes you from crop to shop. Including comprehensive background on topics such as GM food, climate change, and global sustainability, plus shocking facts about the food industry and the stranglehold of the big supermarkets. The guide also explores recent food trends such as food miles, organic and functional foods and reveals that not all food is as healthy as it looks.

Including an inspirational foreword by Guy Watson of Riverford Organic Vegetables, this book won’t just tell you how the world of food works but illustrates how you can control what you eat with simple steps. It contains a plethora of good honest advice, from avoiding vulnerable fish species to creating the perfect allotment or window box salad garden. It includes a guide for healthier kids’ packed lunches, and shows how to get the best from a veg box plus did you know that an organic veg box can save you cash when compared to supermarket organic?*

You can put your local area to the fresh food test with a section on some of the best local shops, markets and small producers in every UK region and find further information with a wide range of useful web links, organisations and further reading.
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Limerick Post: review

There’s a plethora of books out there for the foodies amongst you and here’s another for you to digest. No matter what way you look at it, food is constantly in our headlines, politics and entertainment. But behind the celebrities, the hype, the catch words and the packaging, how much do we really know about the food we eat, where it comes from and what impact it has on the environment?

One of the first accessible, broad-ranging books on contemporary food, The Rough Guide to Food takes you from crop to shop. Including comprehensive background on topics such as GM food, climate change, and global sustainability, plus shocking facts about the food industry and the stranglehold of the big supermarkets. The guide also explores recent food trends such as food miles, organic and functional foods and reveals that not all food is as healthy as it looks.

With excellent editorial throughout, this book won’t just tell you how the world of food works but illustrates how you can control what you eat with simple steps. It contains a plethora of good honest advice, from avoiding vulnerable fish species to creating the perfect allotment or window box salad garden. It includes a guide for healthier kids’ packed lunches, and shows how to get the best from a veg box plus did you know that in some cases, an organic veg box can save you cash when compared to supermarket organic?

Here’s a few ‘Rough Guide Foodie Facts’:

• Tesco now makes more profit in less than five minutes than most farmers make in a year.

• Nearly one-fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions are due to livestock production.

• Americans typically consume 3747 calories per day, up to 1500 calories more than recommended.

• Worldwide Sales of Fairtrade produce rose by 47% in 2007 on the previous year.

• Each of us throws away our average bodyweight (70 kg) of food each year costing us millions and equals what we spend on international aid.

• 85% of us would like to see manufacturers put more animal welfare information on the label.

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Delicious Magazine (April 2009)

delicious-magazine-pic.

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Book Review

A broading-ranging book from the trusted Rough Guide brand that provides informed answers to food-related questions, from the pros and cons of provenance to the future of food.

In turn both useful and fascinating, The Rough Guide to Food faces murky and often controversial topics head on. Questions nice people like you were afraid to ask, such as ‘Is organic food really better?’ and ‘What are realistic alternatives to the convenience of the supermarket?’ are answered in the Rough Guide’s usual clear-headed, frank manner that avoids succumbing to tabloid-style sensationalism.

Broken down into five parts: The food chain (farming, fish, food processing, organic); Global food; (food miles, Fairtrade, GM) How we eat (culture, what is healthy); Real choices (supermarkets, growing your own) and a listings directory, this book is as much an enlightening read that can be dipped into at leisure as it is a succinct reference book full of practical tips like which fish are sustainable and how to care for chickens.

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London Eater Blog (April 9th 2009)

Review

The Rough Guide to Food aims to help average Joey Bloggs navigate their way through the wonderful world of food. There’s a wealth of useful information in there, and they have quite succinctly pulled together extensive chapters on food into one pocketable read. Examples: It gives you information about which fishes being edible (or not), tells you about farming methods, a whole section on supermarkets, explains what a ‘deli’ actually is and there’s even mention of social media sites such as tipped being a good way to find local food shops/services. The final chapter gives you some starters advice on growing your own stuff (with a little chart on fruit/veg seasons) , all in all a pretty comprehensive little know-it-all book about what you and I love most (apart from the cat).

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Food Ethics Council (June 2009)
Review

Covering a wide range of major global issues including
GM, climate change and fair trade, as well as explaining
food origins and consumption habits, The Rough Guide
succeeds in provoking the reader to question what they
eat. Complex debates are nicely compressed into
accessible, bite-sized chunks with references for further
reading.

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Radio interviews

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