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Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal

by Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman participated in the Bellagio residency program in 2018. It was during this residency he worked on Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal. He is the author of 30 acclaimed books and has written for nearly every major newspaper and magazine in the United States.

A few words with Mark

“When I arrived at The Bellagio Center to begin my residency, I had only completed Chapter One of the book.  The time I spent at The Bellagio Center was important and provided me with the space to envision the entire book and to set the tone. All the other residents in my group were encouraging and engaged. My time spent with the other residents, combined with the focused effort I was able to put towards writing, solidified that the work I was doing was the right work for me then and there.”


The story of humankind is usually told as one of technological innovation and economic influence—of arrowheads and atomic bombs, settlers, and stock markets. But behind it all, there is an even more fundamental driver: Food.

In Animal, Vegetable, Junk, trusted food authority Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments.

Even still, Bittman refuses to concede that the battle is lost, pointing to activists, workers, and governments around the world who are choosing well-being over corporate greed and gluttony, and fighting to free society from Big Food’s grip.

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