The Industrial Diet

The Degradation of Food and the Struggle for Healthy Eating

352 pages

October, 2013

ISBN: 9781479862795




Anthony Winson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Coffee and Democracy in Modern Costa Rica, The Intimate Commodity: Food and the Development of the Agro-Industrial Complex in Canada and Contingent Work, Disrupted Lives: Labour and Community in the New Rural Economy.

All books by Anthony Winson

“This is a hugely informative book, stocked full of careful analysis.”—Amy Best, Associate Professor of Sociology, George Mason University 
Accused by many of creating a global health crisis, the American diet has been a source of controversy for years. The way Americans eat—and the disastrous health problems that can often result--is debated on daytime talk shows and in political arenas, written about in bestselling manifestos, and exposed in Oscar-nominated documentaries. Yet, despite all the attention from the media and the scientific community, few studies have looked seriously at the mass-market forces underlying our Western diet.
In The Industrial Diet, Anthony Winson chronicles the forces that have transformed our natural resources into an industry that produces edible commodities, an industry that far too often subverts our well-being instead of nourishing us. Tracing the industrial diet’s history from its roots in the nineteenth century through to the present day, Winson looks at the role of technology, population growth, and political and economic factors in the constitution and transformation of mass dietary regimes. In addition to providing new evidence linking broad-based dietary changes with negative health effects in the developed and developing world, Winson also outlines realistic and innovative strategies that can lead to a healthier future. A fresh new look at the degradation of food and the emergent struggle for healthful eating, this book is an eye-opening tour of the state of nutrition and food culture today.


  • The Industrial Diet provides all the evidence anyone needs to understand the problems with our current food system and what to do about it. Anthony Winson is a compelling advocate for a more sustainable and, as he calls it, a humane food regime.”

    —Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University

  • “This is a hugely informative book, stocked full of careful analysis.”

    —Amy Best, Associate Professor of Sociology, George Mason University