book review: Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner

I do a lot of reading about food production, so you’d think there wouldn’t be much left to shock me about processed food. You’d be wrong.

Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner is full of information about the origins and development of some of the most recognizable processed foods in the average American diet. I didn’t realize that the average American’s consumption of processed foods totals 70% of total food intake.

That’s pretty amazing. And kind of really gross at the same time.

I listened to this on audiobook, so it was hard to keep notes. But if I did, I would have been scribbling down information constantly. This book is engaging and packed with information, without reading like a textbook. By presenting the information without editorializing, it also leaves the judgment passing to the reader. 

The author takes a practical approach, suggesting that if we can’t get rid of processed foods altogether, even reducing our intake is important. Small changes add up over time, and if the consumption of processed foods in this country was even reduced to 30% of our diet, it would make a very significant change in our overall health as a nation.

If you’re looking for information to make an informed decision about your diet, Pandora’s Lunchbox is a great, accessible place to start.