Forty percent of North American workers eat lunch at their desks. Each year Americans spend more than $20 billion trying to lose weight. The average American supermarket contains 42,214 items.
How do the values that define our national character-work, freedom, and progress-shape our eating habits, the good and the bad This is the question that Sophie Egan, food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director, addresses in her provocative, eye-opening book, Devoured.
There are 2,000 different kinds of snack bars on the market. On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans consume 1.25 billion chicken wings. _Gluten-free� is a multibillion-dollar industry.
In Devoured, Egan holds a mirror up to daily life, revealing the deeper meaning behind our food choices: from the prioritization of convenience over health to the ways food at work affects our happiness; from the American obsession with _having it our way� at Starbucks, Chipotle and other chains that individualize the eating experience to the fascinating dynamic between highbrow food culture-artisan this and small-batch that-and the lowbrow, such as Taco Bell's sale of 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos in just ten weeks. She also looks at how America's cuisine-like the nation itself-has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe.
Three-quarters of American households always have at least one carton of ice cream in their freezers. Only 26 percent of Americans eat breakfast every day. Nine in ten American households have microwave ovens.
Everybody eats-making it an activity ripe for examining our beliefs and motivations, our needs and desires. In Devoured, Sophie Egan weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, marketing, and behavioral economics and takes us from the workplace to the home kitchen, from the grocery aisles to fast-food counters, zeroing in on our relationships with meals and snacks, food labels and marketing stunts. Devoured is not only enormously entertaining; it's also an insightful commentary about who Americans are today.
Praise for Devoured
_This book is for anyone who eats food (even if it's Soylent). It's a fun and thought-provoking tour of the bizarre stuff we now consume. You won't look at your dinner-or lunch, breakfast, snack, and whatever Doritos Locos Tacos is-the same way again.�-A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author
_A wild and witty romp through the zaniness that infuses today's American culture of food.�-Michael Moss, author of the New York Times bestseller Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us