The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II
This is an amazing book on nutrition. Referred to as the "Grand Prix of epidemiology" by
The New York Times, this study examines more than 350 variables of health and nutrition
with surveys from 6,500 adults in 65 counties, representing 2,500 counties across
rural China and Taiwan. What makes this really compelling is not just the scale, but the fact
that a really high percentage of the people studied never leave the county they were born in.
This makes the study even more valuable since it nearly removes environment as a factor in
the study. The authors do a good job of citing myriad references, and this book pretty
much seals the deal on whether or not there is a connection between the food we put into
our bodies and its relation to cancer and heart disease. The author has put out an article entitled
Why China Holds the Key to Your Health
that does a good job summarizing the study. If you don't read the book, at least read the article, and if you don't read the article,
at least read this great summary
from Judaism and Vegetarianism
This book is a must-read because of how many thoughtful ideas the authors present.
It's a real eye-opener in terms of the direction industry and technology are going.
This isn't a book only for tree-huggers, so to speak, but for everyone who is a consumer.
The book at times made me feel depressed and guilty over the over-consumption we've become
accustomed to. Everything we consume comes in a package that we throw away, and eventually
we even throw away the product it came in. Why read a book that makes one feel this way?
Well, out of the frustrating realization of the facts (such as that there are 22 ingredients
in shower gel but many of them are to counteract the other ingredients!) are glimmers of
hope for the future (such as the fact that the shower gel was reconfigured with only 9
ingredients that appeared at first to cost the producer more money but in the long run saved
The authors have taken some of their case studies and expanded them to fill a good portion of
this book. There's great insight in this book,
along with fascinating challenges. For example, there's the idea that recycling may
cause more harm than good because of the amount of energy involved coupled with the
fact that original product is actually "downcycled" into something less durable. For
example, recycled paper needs chlorine added to it, so you end up with chemically-soaked paper to
use. It's a trade-off, therefore: your original nearly-chlorine-free paper or the recycled version?
Dr. Fuhrman writes with such confidence in the ability to address multiple diseases through
diet alone that this book is a valuable resource for those even without children. One highlight
is the great commentary on the amount of protein we actually need in our diets.
This book contains a staggering set of viewpoints regarding the consumption of animals by humans. It starts off with the
author's vacillating experience with vegetarianism but it's obvious pretty early on that the author is not going back to
eating meat ever again. Written in the context of having to explain to his newborn son why they eat meat, the author
approaches the topic with wit and respect. As 5-year vegetarian, I was curious to see if the author would reach a definite
conclusion, and if they would tread any new ground. We've read a lot on the topic of animal welfare
(and we highly recommend "Thanking the Monkey" for not just a look at how we treat the animals that become our food, but
those we use for show at zoos, circuses, and as pets). This was still a fresh enough approach to me to make this one of my
favorite books of the past several years. We'll be recommending it to others readily. The
teaser posted in the New York Times
by him on October 7, 2009 is a great way to determine if you want to read the rest of this book.
A quick and funny read about one man's journey towards self-sustainability in the New Mexico desert.
This is the book that started it all for Kathy and Scott. The section on slaughterhouses
is a bit overdone and he drags out a few other topics as well. However, what is
presented in this book made us wonder why we ever ate meat.
Fasting and eating for health: a medical doctor's program for conquering disease by Joel Fuhrman
This was a recommendation from our sister-in-law, Dalva. There are some pretty radical
ideas in this book, but it makes for interesting reading. The general thinking is that
when you are sick, fasting can help. The human body dedicates a lot of energy to digesting
food and distributing the resources throughout the body. By eliminating that temporarily
giving up drinking water), the theory is that the body can rededicate its
resources to fighting whatever ails it. There is a fascinating story in this book about a man
with clogged arteries who goes on a fast. By monitoring his bloodwork, it can be seen that his
blood cholesterol actually rises even though he is fasting. The theory here was that
his body began to attack the diseased tissue within it -- the linings of his arteries.
Published in hard copy in 2001, this book is now available free online! Even though the book has a slant towards
Judaism, it mostly makes references to the Old Testament and as such, it can be appreciated by more than just Jews.
Beyond that, even, it's really just an overall great collection of facts on vegetarianism, including a great
summary of The China Study
as well as a couple of other texts.
Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat by
Howard F. Lyman
This is a captivating book told in a very straight-forward manner. Mr. Lyman is a former
cattle rancher who had a scare when he had a tumor on his spinal column. He swore off all
animal food products and wrote an incredibly well-researched story. He made waves when he
relayed his story on Oprah Winfrey's show after which she swore off hamburgers forever. He
puts a good monthly e-newsletter as well.
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by
We're fans of Michael Pollan's essays, but this book blew the socks off of Kathy when she read it.
Scott found it to be a bit slow and drawn-out.
This is not necessarily a vegetarian or vegan health book, but instead it is a look at
the way animals are treated when it comes to food, hunting, entertainment, pets,
medical testing, and so on. The book is a witty, well-cited, and humorous take on
I could see how someone would dismiss this type of book as nutty stuff, but
really, it's not. It's merely stating various talking (or thinking) points with
the goal of getting you to think differently about things that you normally don't
think about. She has a huge bibliography in the back so she did her research. The
book is short on the really gory photographs that one might find in a pro-animal
book such as this, and I appreciated that. She spends the last chapter talking about
how to effectively get people thinking about animal rights via peaceful and non-annoying
methods, which is a great way to exit the book as you then feel as if you can help make
a difference all by yourself.