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Pandora's Lunchbox

Pandora's Lunchbox

How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

If a piece of individually wrapped cheese can retain its shape, color, and texture for years, what does it say about the food we eat and feed to our children?

Former New York Times business reporter and mother Melanie Warner decided to explore that question when she observed the phenomenon of the indestructible cheese. She began an investigative journey that took her to research labs, university food science departments, and factories around the country. What she discovered provides a rare, eye-opening—and sometimes disturbing—account of what we’re really eating. Warner looks at how decades of food science have resulted in the cheapest, most abundant, most addictive, and most nutritionally inferior food in the world, and she uncovers startling evidence about the profound health implications of the packaged and fast foods that we eat on a daily basis.

Combining meticulous research, vivid writing, and cultural analysis, Warner blows the lid off the largely undocumented—and lightly regulated—world of chemically treated and processed foods and lays bare the potential price we may pay for consuming even so-called healthy foods.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451666748 | 
  • February 2014
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About the Author

Melanie Warner
Photograph by Scott Swann

Melanie Warner

Melanie Warner is a freelance writer for various publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company, and CBSnews.com. She has spent the past fifteen years writing about business. For two years, she was a staff reporter for The New York Times covering the food industry. Before that, she spent seven years as a writer at Fortune magazine, where among other things, she wrote about the dot com boom in Silicon Valley. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two young boys.

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