There is such an enormous amount of information about food available to the general public that it would be impossible to summarise or discuss its significance in one book. Instead this book looks at contemporary food issues starting with how modern food is produced/manufactured, then discussing what we should be eating and why we are easting it and ending with what the food does to us once we have consumed it.

Each Chapter is written by an expert in the subject and topics include the origins and progress of scientifically moderated food, how some germs that we eat will keep us healthy, whereas others will kill us, the origins of food allergy, what we should be feeding our children and how our emotions control our eating habits

This is not a book that that will tell you how to live your life or how to eat healthily.

There are no diets or anti-allergy plans.

What we are aiming to do is ask you to take a moment out of your day to give some thought for food you are eating and hopefully provide you with some food for thought. …..

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People, food, health, and technologies               

PART I Food and culture

People and food

Attitudes to food

Early technology and food

Food and language

PART II Winning food

People evolved as hunter-gatherers

Early plant processing technologies and biotechnologies

Hunter-gatherers manage and manipulate plants and animals

The remarkable Kumeyaay people

PART III Creating food

The farming revolution

The creation of domesticated species

Agriculture only developed in a few places and very few plants or animals were ever domesticated

Farming, lifestyles, and human health

PART IV Managing and improving food creation

Crop management

Empirical genetic manipulation for crop improvement

Biotechnologies, ancient and modern

Biotechnology and the 20th century population explosion

PART V Genetic engineering and other 21st century technologies

Biotechnologies for the 21st century – it’s not all about GM!

The importance of context and provenance for biotechnologies

Why were GM crops rejected in Europe?

GM crops: consumer reaction and global impact

Has the impact of GM technology been exaggerated?

Future perspectives



About the Author:  Professor Denis Murphy, BA (Hons), DPhil, FSB

Probiotics and beneficial gut microbes

Introducing probiotics

Bacteria within us

Contribution of gut bacteria to human health

Gut microbes and host nutrition

Beneficial bacteria in food?  Since the days of the cavemen

Beneficial bacteria – discovered, then nearly forgotten… and re-discovered

Health benefits of probiotics – Digestive health

The use of probiotics to reduce or avoid the side-effects of antibiotic treatments

Irritable bowel syndrome

Digestion of food

Inflammatory bowel diseases

Reduction of gut pathogens

Health benefits of probiotics – Immune health

Are all probiotics equal?

Safety of probiotics

Concluding remarks

About the Author:  Dr Sampo Lahtinen, PhD

Food Poisoning in the United Kingdom at the Start of the Twenty first Century

What is Food Poisoning?

Food Poisoning in the UK

The Key Food Safety Challenges


Listeria monocytogenes




Clostridium Perfringens

Top Tips for Avoiding Food Poisoning and Staying Healthy

Finding out more about food poisoning


About the Author:  Dr Christopher Gooding, BSc, PhD

You can wear pink socks to the party, but you can’t bring pink wafers!

Once upon a time

Diet, nutrition and behaviour

School food standards – making the right choice the easy choice?

Packed lunches

Be Label Aware!

The Stats

Good practice in a secondary schools

Moving on

Big Brother

The problem with common sense

What’s it got to do with me?

It’s nothing like smoking! Or “Do as I say, not as I do”

Happily ever after

About the Author:  Jo Smith

Eating the emotion

How we use food to change our mood


In the beginning… we are born hungry, hungry for love, hungry for food



Using a framework to understand emotional eating

Parent ego-state

Adult ego-state

Child ego-state

How do we decide to use food to soothe ourselves?

Some common patterns

What initiates and perpetuates emotional eating?

Why diets alone don’t work

What is the alternative to dieting?

So how can we stop eating our emotions?

Seeking professional help



About the Authors:  Ayse Banbridge and Sonia Di Gennaro

Factors affecting the development of food allergy

What is food allergy?

What illnesses does food allergy cause?

Is food allergy more common than it used to be, or do we just recognise it more often?

If food allergy is getting more common, do we know why this is happening?

Do we know why food allergy occurs in the first place?

OK – well how does our body decide whether or not to make an allergic response to a food that we eat then?

And what sort of things might stop this from working properly?

i. A disturbed gut lining

ii. A highly allergic immune system

iii. Abnormal early food exposures

iv. More complex interactions between the environment and our genetic makeup

So when food allergy does happen, what is the body reacting to?

What determines whether an allergic reaction will be severe and life threatening or not?

So what should I do to prevent my child from developing food allergy

a. Avoidance of common food allergens

b. Early introduction of common food allergens such as peanut or egg to a child’s diet

c. Vitamin supplements

d. Oily fish

e. Probiotics

f. Breast feeding

g. Skin care

h. Other ways of preventing allergy


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