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Eating responsibly made easier

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Need a go-to guide for eating sustainably, responsibly - and well?

Sherri Brooks Vinton and Ann Clark Espuelas offer just the thing in "The Real Food Revival: Aisle by Aisle, Morsel by Morsel" (Tarcher/Penguin, $15.95). Their succinctly written book guides readers through the jargon, production methods and quality issues of the food Americans purchase, including produce, meat, seafood, grains, dairy and beverages - as well as the prices paid (literally and figuratively) for the choices we make.

Their criteria for real food: "delicious, produced as locally as possible, sustainable, affordable, accessible."

The book isn't intended to put anybody on a guilt trip; indeed, we loved their apt description of the less-than-appetizing health-food stores of the 1970s. Many of their suggestions can be put into practice in supermarkets and on the Internet, though the authors clearly prefer independently owned stores and farmers markets.

Here are some examples of the advice within:

-Find a butcher: "Butchers do more than provide delicious cooking tips. They act as your advocate in the marketplace."

-The Internet can be your friend: Smart seafood choices can be downloaded in user-friendly guides from Web sites such as and

-On fast food: "Pass by the national fast food chain and head to the local deli, pizza parlor, Chinese takeout or taco stand. You'll be supporting a small, perhaps family business and keeping your food dollars in your community."


(c) 2005, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.

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