Formerly Known as Food



“The public must decide whether it wishes to continue on the present road, and it can do so only when in full possession of the facts. In the words of Jean Rostand, ‘The obligation to endure gives us the right to know.’ ” –RACHEL CARSON, THE SILENT SPRING, 1962

An independent journalist and nutrition expert, Lawless is emerging as the voice of a new generation of food thinkers. After years of "eat this, not that" advice from doctors, journalists, and food faddists, she offers something completely different.

Lawless presents a comprehensive explanation of the problem—going beyond nutrition to issues of food choice, class, race, and gender—and provides a sound and simple philosophy of eating, which she calls "The Whole Egg Theory."


Praise for Formerly Known As Food

"In this revelatory survey of the dangers of the industrial food system, Lawless offers crucial tools for navigating it safely. The best ones have nothing to do with shopping advice: she asks us to think holistically about food, why it can't be separated from other struggles for justice, and what it means to demand transformative change." – Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything

“We take “food” for granted. But Kristin Lawless has done a thorough job of describing how so much of what we eat doesn’t qualify as “food” - and the terrible, sometimes catastrophic effects that transition has had (and will have) on our bodies and our planet. A stirring call to action to improve the awareness and ultimately health of all of us. ”— Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything

"Kristin Lawless takes us where few food critics dare to go. She shows how society can prioritize the time and other resources for all to eat well, from breastfeeding to healthy old age, over the corporate interests of Big Ag and Big Food." — Selma James, author of Sex, Race, Class & co-founder of Wages for Housework

“At age 57, I’m seeing friends 10 to 15 years younger succumb to diseases that used to plague our elders at 65 plus. But why? Lawless provides answers in this great and necessary book,”  Chuck Draptivist and founder of Public Enemy

"Revelatory on every page and a delight to read Formerly Known as Food is both a powerful expose and a passionate manifesto. The industrial food system is placing us all, the living and the yet unborn, in mortal peril. In her meticulous autopsy of the way we eat today, Kristin Lawless has provided a public service. Reading Formerly Known as Food is a matter of life and death."  — Steve Fraser, author of Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion

“You better read this book before you put another bite of food in your or your kids’ mouths!” — Laurie David, Academy Award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth and Fed Up 

 "This groundbreaking book will get you thinking differently about how you nourish yourself and your family, and will inspire you to advocate for change."  Mary Esther Malloy, MA, founder of Mindful Birth