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True Food

Eight Simple Steps to a Healthier You

Written by Annie B. BondAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Annie B. Bond, Melissa BreyerAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Melissa Breyer and Wendy GordonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Wendy Gordon
Foreword by Alice WatersAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Alice Waters

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This inviting, encouraging how-to turns the ideals of today’s food revolution into eight practical steps to a healthier, more natural diet. It’s a workable blueprint for enlightening your kitchen in ways that are good for you, your family, your pocketbook—and the environment. Friendly and fun, featuring lighthearted design and lively writing, the book shows how preparing good food with simple, natural ingredients can actually cost less than reaching for commercially produced and processed alternatives. You’ll discover fresh, seasonal recipes and new ways to go shopping, plus practical advice on how to establish priorities among the many rules that sometimes seem to contradict each other. How can I eat fresh fruit in the middle of winter? If favor local produce, do I have to stop eating bananas? Full of quick, innovative solutions (and a few old-fashioned ones, too), True Food is a complete vision of how to select, prepare, serve, store, and enjoy the planet’s bounteous harvest.

The eight steps introduce and implement a short list of powerful ideas, from "Eat Local Food" to "Green Your Kitchen." Every piece of advice is backed up by solid research and personal experience. Stories of real people who have committed to the lifestyle offer amusing tales of acquiring new habits and inspiring portraits of people who quietly live with a new awareness. Special sidebars called "Budget Benefits" highlight how following these eight simple steps can actually save you money—and at the same time help you nourish better and greener attitudes everywhere.



The most common sense way of stating this principle is: The shorter the distance that food travels from farm to table, the better. Simply consider the distance between you and your food sources (and we’re not talking supermarkets here—they’re vendors, not sources), and choose the closest producers. Get your eggs from a farm in your town rather than from a farm in the far reaches of your state, and vegetables from farms in your state rather than from farms two states over. If you live on the East Coast, Florida citrus is better than California citrus. If you live in the state of Washington, California is closer than Florida, but Florida is closer than Brazil, and so forth.

Eating locally doesn’t mean doing without. You don't have to give up coffee and tea, for example, which are popular the world over, though grown only in certain regions. But it does mean making choices when possible in favor of those foods produced nearest to where you live. Every time you purchase from the closest farmer, you strengthen the network of growers and businesses seeking to build and maintain a “foodshed” that is diverse, nutritious, sustainable, and secure.


Out-of-season produce is an extravagance because it is so energy-intensive to transport it to your kitchen. It’s not just your drive to bring it home from the grocery store—think of all the traveling that produce has done to get to the store from whatever field or orchard it was grown in. But you still want to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, so in the winter, we should all try to eat frozen, dried, and bisphenol A (BPA)–free canned food, and food stored in local root cellars.

Eating frozen fruit and vegetables, especially from local producers and local root cellars, is your very best option during the winter months. Frozen foods retain much of their nutritional content, in addition to cutting energy costs in transportation. It takes much less energy to keep food frozen than it takes to ship food hundreds, even thousands, of miles and keep it fresh along the way. Dried and canned foods can also be nutritious options.


“They show how to find and prepare local, fresh, organic foods—while saving energy.”

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