are what you eat that would make me… monosodium glutamate
and partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil? Those are
just some of the ingredients found in Doritos. Or did you know
that Milk Chocolate M&M’s has no fewer than ten different
artificial colours. And make sure your kids enjoy SunnyD, the
orange punch that contains Neotame, the sweetest chemical sweetener
These are just a few of the examples used in Unjunk Your Junk
Food to get the reader aware of all the unnatural ingredients
people consume regularly. Written by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer,
they co-founded a website called Naturally Savvy, a site
dedicated to the basics of natural health. They were also helped
by nutrition expert Lisa Tsakos.
The book is written as a grocery guidebook. It is compact enough
to store in a purse and easy to flip open when shopping down the
The reoccurring theme in the book is to understand what you’re
eating. Also, if you don’t know what a listed ingredient
is then don’t buy the product. The number of chemicals put
into commonly used products is actually shocking. The reader will
be checking ingredient lists after reading this book, but of course,
that is the point.
Donsky and Boyer make it clear that they are not suggesting banning
junk food from your diet because they know it is unrealistic.
They are only trying to bring to light the dangers of eating heavily
processed foods and showing readers the alternative choices to
Each chapter is designed to focus on a specific category of junk
food: chips and dips, ice cream, cookies, chocolate, candy, etc.
On the left page, they have the unhealthy product and on the right,
they give the Naturally Savvy Approved suggestion (the healthier
option). The healthier suggestion isn’t an obscure product
either. Most of the products given can be easily found at your
local grocery store if you take the time search for them.
It is worth noting that the healthier choices given don’t
necessarily mean fewer calories either. They factor in the ingredient
list, the amount of sodium, and whether it is hiding trans-fat.
Companies are not required to list their trans-fats if they are
under a specific amount and they are often hidden in ingredients
described as “partially hydrogenated.”
With every product there is an ingredient list. Ingredients are
highlighted in Red: Worst Ingredients and Yellow: Also Beware
Of. By the end of your reading, these harmful ingredients will
be stuck in your memory and you’ll be throwing products
back on their grocery shelves after taking a closer look.
Along with all this information, the authors give facts and tips
to health information. The one flaw in this book is that there
are few sources listed to back up their data. They have likely
done their homework and their website is filled with credible
contributors, but the reader is solely relying on their leadership.
There are no footnotes seen at the bottom of the pages.
Overall, Unjunk Your Junk Food is an eye-opening experience
for the reader. Not only does it promote awareness, but it also
has companies re-evaluating their products. They note that there
has been success in changing companies of name brand products
to more natural ingredients. Donsky and Boyer explain it is okay
to eat junk in moderation, but just know what you are consuming.
Unjunk Your Junk Food at bookstores everywhere.
978-1451616569 / Gallery Books / (December 27, 2011) / Paperback:
Mayim Bialik discusses her book 'Beyond the Sling' in Pasadena,
credit: Gallery Books
excerpt from "Unjunk Your Junk Food."