What is a general summary of each section of Food Politics by Marion Nestle?
Nestle's text can be broken down into three main sections, all of which support her main argument: that the food industry insidiously affects consumers' health and well-being by regulating and influencing the food supply.
Part One provides an overview of food advice in the United States with respect to how lobbyists and the USDA have encouraged Americans to eat more in order to prevent disease, then in an effort to fight obesity, the government has advised consumers to eat less. Nestle then focuses on how lobbyists created the food pyramid to suit the needs of manufacturers (namely dairy and meat producers). By the same token, the USDA is called into question, as their role in developing and legitimizing the Food Pyramid further points to the idea that the food industry concerns itself more with profit over health.
In Part Two, Nestle explores how various companies in the food industry influence government policy on food. To illustrate this, Nestle discusses the Banana Wars (between Chiquita and the EU), as well as sugarcane production in the South. In both of these scenarios, lobbying and campaigning contributions figured prominently into the equation. Nestle sums up these findings by exploring how these practices actually influence what the public eats.
The third section of the text analyzes the ways in which advertising campaigns have negatively influenced the eating practices of children, namely the availability of sugary, carbohydrate laden foods at schools.
The final section of the text offers several case studies which illustrate how the deregulation of dietary supplements has influenced American health habits. Continuing in the same vein, Nestle devotes three chapters to designer foods and their subsequent impact on American health. Overall, this discussion provides a valuable reiteration of Nestle's main argument.