You Are What You Eat

One of the most recognized pieces of dietary advice is the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, once better known as the food pyramid.  In the guideline’s most recent revision, the food pyramid is now a dinner plate infographic, My Plate, but the purpose of the advice is the same - help Americans make better, healthier food choices for a better, healthier life.  

Professor Melanie Dupuis examines a variety of American dietary advice in her recently published book Dangerous Digestion: The Politics of American Dietary Advice.  

You are what you eat, or so the adage goes.   Seen through a social, political and historic nexus, and inspired by new scientific studies of the human body as a metabiome, a collaboration of species rather than an isolated individual, Dupuis examines how ideas of what to eat, of what not to eat, of what to let in the body, and what to keep out reflect our nation’s ideals of freedom, purity, and virtue.   Dupuis challenges the reader to think deeply about notions of purity and of mixing, of dietary rules and social reform. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education describes the book as “…provocative and frequently fascinating…”

Dupuis is the chairwoman of Environmental Studies and Science department.  She recently spoke about “clean eating” at the in Geneva at the World Heath Organization’s Global Health Histories Seminar.