Shopping Cart

Food, Sex and Salmonella

Why Our Food Is Making Us Sick

Regular price $22.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553652717
  • Tags: David Waltner-Toews, Health & Wellness,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 1/16/2008
  • 256 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781926685182
  • Tags: David Waltner-Toews, Health & Wellness,
  • Published On: 02/12/2008
  • 256 Pages

With solid science and deft humour, a celebrated epidemiologist surveys foodborne diseases, explains their complexities, explores why new diseases are emerging, and offers preventive solutions.

In this lively look at foodborne diseases, David Waltner-Toews brings us tales of the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that have made their way into our food supply. He explores the global patterns of foodborne disease, from ciguatera toxins in fish to pandemics of Salmonella, and the changes in climate, culture, agriculture, and trade that have led to the emergence of new diseases and epidemics. Finally, he offers effective responses, ranging from changing personal habits to managing international trade and agricultural practices.

Using the metaphor of sex, the book reminds us that what sex is to interpersonal relationships, eating is to the human-environment relationship. Treating our relationship with food as a series of one-off sensual encounters is like having random sex with a blindfold on: it may be fun, but it is also full of nasty surprises. This book is a call to take off the blindfolds and enlighten ourselves.

Dr. David Waltner-Toews is a veterinarian and epidemiologist specializing in diseases people get from animals. He is a professor at the University of Guelph, founding president of Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières Canada, and author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario.


"Dr. Waltner-Toews book is full of the true joy of the scientist, where even something like salmonella can be studied with reverence and interest as just another organism living with us humans on this big blue ball." -National Examiner

"Waltner-Toews . . . takes care to emphasize the cultural, social, and celebratory place of food in our lives and cautions against mechanistic or simplistic responses to food issues." -Alternatives Journal

"In this timely book about food safety, the good doctor cleverly uses sex as a metaphor in order to probe food-borne pathogens and our social relationships to food . . . He urges people to look at the connections and relationships between food, farming, disease and ecology. Waltner-Toews hammers many aspects of modern, industrial food systems, claiming that economies of scale and industrial trade promote pandemics, and touts organic and local as reasonable alternatives to our crazy modern diets." -Organic Lifestyles Magazine

"Likening our wanton culinary habits . . . to the dangers of promiscuous sex, Waltner-Toews explores the gamut of risks associated with food-borne disease, from acute . . . to chronic . . . as outcomes of a greedy industry happy to enable our undisciplined appetites. In the process of satisfying those appetites, we're ingesting a host of known and unknown natural and manmade toxins, many of which also jeopardize the earth." -Booklist

"The epidemiologist-veterinarian combines solid science and a light touch to describe the bacteria, viruses and parasites that have entered our food supply, and how new diseases and epidemics have emerged." -Globe & Mail