A Good Book

Craig Good’s new book explains that all food is good and urges us to relax and enjoy rather than worrying and feeling guilty. Good advice, indeed! And solidly based on science.

Craig Good has written a Good book, published by Very Good Books, with Good advice about eating. The title is Relax and Enjoy Your Food: Save Your Money, Your Health and Your Sanity by Separating Fact from Flapdoodle.

The blurb on the back cover of the book can serve as a concise and accurate book review. It says:

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with scary advice about what to eat and what not to eat, this book is a delightful breath of fresh air and common sense. Craig Good explains why we should stop obsessing over food choices; and why, instead of following anyone’s idea of a diet, we should learn to simply enjoy eating a variety of foods. He cuts to the essence of this complicated subject and tells his story in a conversational tone with flashes of laugh-out-loud humor. And it’s all solidly based on good science. What more could you ask for?

I think that’s an excellent description. Of course, I could be biased since I wrote the blurb. (:-) 

Who is Craig Good?

He worked at Pixar for 31 years, and at LucasFilm before that, and is now an Assistant Professor at the California College of the Arts. His credentials? His daughter was diagnosed with anorexia, and he has long been interested in science and skepticism. He is not a doctor or a scientist; but like Yogi, he is smarter than the average bear, far more knowledgeable, and a talented science communicator. He is obviously a long-time assiduous reader of sciencebasedmedicine.org, and he has profited from everything SBM has hoped to teach its readers.

His message

He argues that it is a wonderful time to be alive. Our ancestors had to eat whatever they could get; we get to choose. We should be delighted, but instead we are conflicted. We worry that we are not eating the right foods; we feel guilty. He covers a “mythelany” of the misinformation we hear. “Chemical” doesn’t equate to “bad for you”. There is no such thing as a “healthy” or “unhealthy” food. There’s no such thing as junk food or superfoods. Sugar isn’t cocaine, and bacon won’t give you cancer. GMOs are safe. All food is healthy. “Natural” is meaningless. Microwaving doesn’t destroy nutrients. Pork doesn’t need to be cooked well-done. Searing meat doesn’t seal in the juices. Mice are not men.

He explains Nutrition 101. He explains why not every scientific study can be trusted. “It worked for me” is nothing but an expression of our confirmation bias. Never trust a health guru.

Pithy words of wisdom

“What another person weighs or what they eat is none of your business”. “Never comment on your child’s weight”. “Diets don’t work”. “Don’t confuse food with medicine”. On the alkaline diet: “If something you ate really did change your body’s alkalinity, you’d end up in one of two places: an ambulance or a hearse”. For detox, all you need to do is “pee and keep breathing”.

He translates the FDA Miranda warning as “This product is a potentially dangerous ripoff. Do not buy it.”

He sums up his advice as “Enjoy a variety of foods, mostly plants, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, not too much or too little…Let what you eat be a source of joy, nutrition, and carnal pleasure… Relax and enjoy your food”.

Conclusion: Good advice indeed

I highly recommend this book. Whether or not you read it, please do learn to enjoy your food and stop worrying!

This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine Blog.

Dr. Hall is a contributing editor to both Skeptic magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer. She is a weekly contributor to the Science-Based Medicine Blog and is one of its editors. She has also contributed to Quackwatch and to a number of other respected journals and publications. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and co-author of the textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.

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