Cook Food by Lisa Jervis self-describes itself as a manualfesto for easy, healthy, local eating. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the politics on your plate — this book is for you. Jervis takes the best information and insight from books like Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma plus the many works by Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle and Raj Patel and puts it all together in a nutshell. Jervis also answers questions we’ve all had: what’s healthy? what food is the most eco-friendly? can I really eat organic vegan food without breaking the bank? Then Jervis goes one step farther and teaches kitchen basics so anyone can feel comfortable in their kitchen. Complete with a guides to spices, ingredients, pots, pans and easy recipes, this book is literally a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about being a little more health and earth conscious.
Cook Food is also vegan-friendly, meaning Jervis draws attention to the horrors of the meat and dairy industries, promotes a vegan diet and provides only vegan recipes. However, Jervis is a meat eater herself and thinks organic meat is humane and earth-friendly. I sharply disagree with her there, but other than when she’s talking about her own diet the book is very pro-vegan. All in all, it’s a great little book and certainly helpful for anyone confused, overwhelmed or new to eating green. I’m also glad that an environmentalist finally stepped up and admitted a vegan diet is about the most earth-friendly way one can eat. (Ugh, hem, Al Gore).