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Publisher's Summary

An international best seller

Acclaimed journalist and author of The Dorito Effect delivers a groundbreaking, entertaining, and informative work that reveals how our dysfunctional relationship with food began — and how science is leading us back to healthier living and eating.

For the last 50 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 88 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 more unhealthy we become. Why?

Mark Schatzker has spent his career traveling the world in search of the answer. In The Dorito Effect, he revealed the startling relationship between flavor and nutrition. In Steak, he was one of the first authors to recognize the critical importance of regenerative agriculture. Now, in The End of Craving, he poses an even more 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 essential joy 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 will fundamentally change how we understand both food and ourselves.

©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.

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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.

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Tried something of a genre outside my usual, Tasty

This was entirely interesting. I was so pleasantly surprised. Highly recommend. The author is surely on to something here.

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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.

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Not what I expected but interesting nonetheless

Not a diet or epicurean book. Good stories about food, sickness, and cultures and how they relate to the current obesity problem. His conclusion makes sense in that it covers both the carb and keto hypothesis but points the finger at government meddling and capture of and by the food industry. Not too much on solutions though. I wonder what Gary Taubes would make of it?

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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!