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Publisher's Summary

The international bestseller from award-winning writer Mark Schatzker that reveals how our dysfunctional relationship with food began—and how science is leading us back to healthier living and eating.

For the last fifty years, we have been fighting a losing war on food. We have cut fat, reduced carbs, eliminated sugar, and attempted every conceivable diet only to find that eighty-eight million American adults are prediabetic, more than a hundred million have high blood pressure, and nearly half now qualify as obese. The harder we try to control what we eat, the unhealthier we become. Why?

Mark Schatzker has spent his career traveling the world in search of the answer. Now, in The End of Craving, he poses the profound question: What if the key to nutrition and good health lies not in resisting the primal urge to eat but in understanding its purpose? 

Beginning in the mountains of Europe and the fields of the Old South, Schatzker embarks on a quest to uncover the lost art of eating and living well. Along the way, he visits brain scanning laboratories and hog farms, and encounters cultural oddities and scientific paradoxes—northern Italians eat what may be the world’s most delicious cuisine, yet are among the world’s thinnest people; laborers in southern India possess an inborn wisdom to eat their way from sickness to good health. Schatzker reveals how decades of advancements in food technology have turned the brain’s drive to eat against the body, placing us in an unrelenting state of craving. Only by restoring the relationship between nutrition and the pleasure of eating can we hope to lead longer and happier lives.

Combining cutting-edge science and ancient wisdom, The End of Craving is an urgent and radical investigation that “charts a roadmap not just for healthy eating, but for joyous eating, too” (Dan Barber, New York Times bestselling author of The Third Plate).

©2021 Mark Schatzker. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The End of Craving

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Useful new concepts, well presented

One big point of the book is that the brain is not fooled by vitamin-enriched grains, corn-fed livestock, or artificial sweeteners. Instead, the brain activates panic-like responses when food eaten does not match the sensory information indicates. This "panic-like response" is my paraphrase of findings from study after study in the book, well-explained by examples and analogies from our everyday experiences. The author puts together a central thesis about how modern food's manipulation of micronutrients, flavor, and mouthfeel sends conflicting signals to the brain, ultimately resulting in obesity. The arguments are logical, guided step-by-step in the book. The book is wrapped in an anecdote about Goethe's travels in Italy, and the author's observations about modern Italy's obsession with good food, and exhibits great writing throughout. All of the new concepts in here motivated me to listen to it in a single day!

Shout out to the narrator for being clear, not mispronouncing anything, and for not trying to impress us with some ridiculous Italian accent when reading Italian city and food names. We've all heard narrators who have done that, right?? Anyway, I recommend the book and the narrator.

13 people found this helpful

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Must read

This book explains why the Italians are able to eat lots of full fat and carbohydrate and not suffer the epidemic proportions of obesity that we have here in the US.

3 people found this helpful

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Mind Blowing!

A must read for Everyone Who Eats. Ya, that means you- read it! This book explains so much about Americans' skewed attitude towards food. and why so many of us are nutritionally dissatisfied. Gibson Frazier did a spectacularjob narrating, btw. I presume he was as riveted, astounded, and greatful to partake in Mark Schatzker's book as I was. A definate must listen for anyone even mildly interested in nutrition.

2 people found this helpful

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An interesting look at food history.

Excellent narration, and a very interesting book. a deep dive into nutrition and food manipulation.

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Love the science.

There is no quick fix. This is an incredible collection of the science behind eating and the history behind it. I loved it!

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Changed my Life

Made so much sense and backed up by studies and history. It literally changed my life.

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Eye opening

Very interesting perspective on the obesity epidemic in the US. It makes complete sense and I’ll be adjusting my diet accordingly.

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great information!

Definitely an eye opener about our food. Love this book will incorporate this Information to my everyday life.

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This author makes it make sense!

The author does a great job of breaking down how many of the foods we eat are just manufactured chemical substances. The author explains that our brains cannot recognize these mystery foods and therefore does not know how to metabolize them. The author analyzes Italy as a way to compare food consumption in America. His explanations are clear and he references relevant scientific research. Very user friendly!

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A Must Read

Brilliant expose of our obesity issues. The cause is surprising AND gives me more reverence for the brilliant design of our bodies. The fix is not another diet. It is experiencing and truly liking our food, and keeping the food industry from messing with what we put in our bodies. We can choose a different path.

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  • TJ
  • 11-30-21

Absolutely fascinating read about nutrition

I was very sad when this book came to an end! What an enthralling journey into the history of food, pre and post modernisation. The author shows that the 'improvements' we've made through technological means have had the opposite effect, and caused confusion and weight gain. This book is full of interesting stories about people and their experiences, and there were so many lightbulb moments throughout. This book will forever change how you read nutritional labels, and the food you put in your mouth. The author has no dietary bias (e.g. Low carb, low fat, paleo, etc) and this isn't a book that contains recipes and meal plans. What it does contain is far more important than that, and that is knowledge that will empower you to change your relationship with food for the better. I think this book should be required reading for everyone!