Biting Humor: Food Cartoons from Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle’s newest book is filled with something you probably wouldn’t expect from a nutrition expert: cartoons. Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics looks at what Americans eat and how we feel about it through the eyes of cartoonists. The book, which was created in collaboration with the Cartoonist Group, contains more than 250 weight and food cartoons. The selections were chosen by Nestle, an NYU nutrition professor and long-time food policy advocate whose previous books dealt with the politics of food and food policy (Food Politics, 2002), how to shop for a healthy diet (What to Eat, 2006) and what causes people to be overweight (Why Calories Count, 2012, co-written with Malden Nesheim.)

Nestle recently told USA Today that cartoons present “complicated conceptual information at a glance, and if they are good, make it funny, pointed, sharp, ironic and sometimes even sarcastic. In one drawing, cartoonists can convey not only what the idea is about, but what they think about it.”

Some of the cartoons capture the impact America’s over-filled schedules have on our ability to eat healthy foods. Others examine the impact of an unhealthy food environment. Though most have been published elsewhere, this is the first time this number of food cartoons have been gathered together under the auspices of food policy and food politics.

If you find the marriage of food politics and cartoons intriguing (and want the chance to win a signed copy of Nestle’s books) you may want to try your hand at finding that perfect caption in Nestle’s caption contest. Read about it here.

Who says the food police are humorless?

Click here to read more in USA Today, click here to read more in the San Francisco Chronicle, and click here to read more on the book’s webpage.

Funny Face, photograph © Dustin J. McClure / flickr

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