A Bone to Pick Book Summary - A Bone to Pick Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

A Bone to Pick summary

Mark Bittman

The Good and Bad News About Food

3.3 (22 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

'A Bone to Pick' by Mark Bittman is a collection of thought-provoking essays on food, politics, and contemporary social issues around food systems and consumption.

Table of Contents

    A Bone to Pick
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Changes in the food industry could have a major impact on many pressing global issues.

    Did you know there's enough food in the world to feed everyone? And yet, roughly one billion people don't have enough to eat. This problem isn't caused by a lack of food – it's caused by our flawed agricultural system. In fact, a third of all the calories we produce go into feeding animals; another third is wasted in the production process; and five percent goes into fuel processing.

    There might be a solution, however. It’s called agroecology, and it’s a combination of ecology and agriculture.

    Crop rotation, the planting schedule for a set of crops, is a prime example of a process agroecology could improve. Imagine you have two plots of land. In Plot One, during one year, you plant soybeans; the following year, you plant corn. In Plot Two, you also plant soybeans in the first and corn in the second year, but then you switch to oats in the third year, before going back to soybeans in the fourth.

    Plot Two would have a higher yield, because biodiversity enriches the soil. If you added alfalfa into the rotation, the yield would become even greater.

    So we need to make it standard practice for farms to include more crops in their crop rotations, so that we can produce more efficiently.

    But what if you don’t own a farm? You can still make a difference in the global food industry. How? Stop buying imported fruits and vegetables.

    There's no reason to buy asparagus from Peru in December. Because of it must be transported a great distance, that asparagus leaves a much greater carbon footprint than local vegetables.

    Buy your products from local farmers' markets instead. Eat foods that are in season. If you can, change your lawn into a garden and start growing your own vegetables and kitchen herbs. By decreasing its dependence on imported fruits and vegetables, the US would greatly further the fight against global warming.

    Want to see all full key ideas from A Bone to Pick?

    Key ideas in A Bone to Pick

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is A Bone to Pick about?

    A Bone to Pick (2015), a compilation of articles originally published in the New York Times, outlines the systemic problems in the American food industry. It lays out the governmental and agricultural problems that are holding the industry back – and harming us and our planet in the process.

    A Bone to Pick Review

    A Bone to Pick (2008) by Mark Bittman serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the food industry and the impact of our dietary choices on personal and planetary health. Here's why this book stands out:

    • With meticulous research and eye-opening statistics, Bittman sheds light on the hidden truths behind our food system, empowering readers to make informed choices.
    • This book offers a practical roadmap for transitioning to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle by providing easy-to-implement tips and recipes.
    • Bittman's passionate advocacy for conscious eating and sustainability makes this book an engaging and inspiring read, ensuring that it is anything but dull.

    Who should read A Bone to Pick?

    • Health and nutrition enthusiasts
    • Those wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle
    • People interested in sociology, economics or agriculture

    About the Author

    Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York Times and New York Times Magazine. He's written a number of bestselling books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6.

    Categories with A Bone to Pick

    Book summaries like A Bone to Pick

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    A Bone to Pick FAQs 

    What is the main message of A Bone to Pick?

    The main message of A Bone to Pick is to revolutionize our food system and make healthier choices.

    How long does it take to read A Bone to Pick?

    The reading time for A Bone to Pick varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is A Bone to Pick a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A Bone to Pick is a thought-provoking read that sheds light on the flaws in our food system. It's definitely worth picking up.

    Who is the author of A Bone to Pick?

    The author of A Bone to Pick is Mark Bittman.

    What to read after A Bone to Pick?

    If you're wondering what to read next after A Bone to Pick, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • Project Animal Farm by Sonia Faruqi
    • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
    • Love Life by Matthew Hussey
    • Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • Hinch Yourself Happy by Mrs. Hinch
    • Why is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond