First of all, let me declare an interest, Hattie Ellis is a friend. Years ago, unbeknown to me, she used my book Good Food in Yorkshire as one of the references for her book Eating England and so when we met for the first time last year on a press trip to Scotland, we immediately became friends.
Last week the Guild of Food Writers, a pretty sharp lot, presented Hattie with two awards – Food Book of the Year and Best Work on Healthy Eating, for her book What to Eat? – Ten Chewy Questions About Food. Congratulations, Hattie.
But don’t just take my – or the Guild’s – word for it, this really is an excellent resource for anyone who cares about their their food, where it comes from and how it is produced. And if the title sounds at all preachy, rest assured it is not, rather it is an informative, entertaining, funny and very personal book that confronts many of our food dilemmas, analyses them and offers solutions.
Chapters are self-contained so you can dip in and out and cover subject such as, What is sustainable fish? How can I eat five a day? Is buying local always best? and the chapter I went for first off: does any diet work?
Hattie takes us fluently through the science, nature and the practices of the food industry, exposing myths and unveiling the truths about how our food is produced and at the end of each chapter suggests possible solutions to these food predicaments.
In all, the book took four years to write. ‘I’ve never been a marathon runner,’says Hattie, ‘but that was the mental equivalent.’ If it was gruelling to write, her skill is that it reads like a breeze.
Buy from Amazon or better still from your local bookshop.