On The Problem Of Writing Health Cookbooks

It is no mistake that health in the United States is a subject that causes considerable controversy. Among the many aspects of health-related materials that people have are cookbooks. I happen to greatly love reading a cookbook, especially when it has recipes that I enjoy. I have to say, though, that some of the most difficult cookbooks to appreciate are those with a motive to encourage good health, and there are at least a few reasons for that. It should also be noted that there are other reasons why some cookbooks are difficult to appreciate because they are designed to differentiate themselves from others rather than to promote good food, and that is at least some of what goes on with health-related cookbooks as well.

A special barrier that health-related cookbooks have to face is the question of whether or not the cookbooks encourage good health. This is by no means an easy thing to determine. Still, there are some obvious signs that can help one understand the sorts of agendas that are present within these books. To the extent that we know, for example, that the food pyramid is not a good idea, we will view with suspicion those cookbooks that focus on it. To the extent that we are aware of various dieting fads or attempts to promote unhealthy but lucrative items (sugar replacements, for example), we can be particular sensitive to other food trends. And so it goes, depending on our knowledge of health relative to what is being presented to us.

What makes writing healthy cookbooks difficult is not all that difficult to understand. Writing cookbooks is a sufficiently challenging task on its own. Finding recipes that can allow one to distinguish oneself from competitors while also providing recipes that are worth eating in terms of their taste is a hard task. Contemporary cookbooks struggle from their historical competitors because a great many people do not actually want to make tasty food but rather to be creative in their recipes to make readers and writers alike distinguish themselves from the plebian tastes of ordinary people. Contemporary trends in writing as well as eating make cookbooks a more difficult thing to write well nowadays anyway, even if one only has the usual agendas for writing cookbooks in setting oneself up as an authority on food.

This problem is exacerbated when one is writing about health. It is hard enough to be able to master food that tastes good and that, in the current writing climate, allows one to distinguish oneself from the simply monumental amount of cookbooks that are available in seemingly every niche. When one adds to these sufficiently difficult tasks the goal of helping people cope with certain health problems that are related to diet, it is even more difficult to do the task correctly, much less to the pleasure of the reader. Wrongheaded ideas of how health issues are to be addressed can make a cookbook less than beneficial to the reading audience. You might as well attempt to be aiming pork recipes and recommending beer to someone suffering from gout, which is sadly the sort of thing one finds sometimes. To write convincingly and well in such a task one has to know food and know health, and each of these is hard enough to know on its own, much less to make oneself an expert enough to write about it well.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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