A compelling book… Says what needs to be said.
The Bite of History
Patriarchy Messing with Me and Food for 85 Years
An Autobiography by Caroline Anaya
Nutrition Scientist & Fitness Professional
My “woman training” began at birth. As a toddler, I was sweeping and dusting. By age 3, I learned to keep my body parts private. By 4, I could wash and iron. At 5, I was keeping secrets. At 6, I started helping Mom in the kitchen. The magic of making food into a meal that we ate, enjoyed and kept us healthy planted the seeds of my lifelong passion: Foods and Nutrition.
Dad made it clear that I was to be an ‘A’ student. Mom’s advice: “Be Curious. Question Everything. Trust Your Instincts.” I saw my future: a loving wife, talented homemaker, a compassionate parent, and excelling in a glorious career.
I studied hard, jumped through the hoops. Had a glorious career in Food and Nutrition Research. For about 10 years.
Then I made a mistake. I got pregnant. No matter that I’d been married for 6 years. That wasn’t the point. It was unacceptable for a professional woman to be pregnant. Period.
I had been oblivious to the cultural undercurrent that tripped me up. Arrogant maybe. Ignorant, yes. Slowly, my house of cards came tumbling down. One thing, then another.
The next decades saw me through harrowing events that dovetailed in and out of an adventurous life. Working a smorgasbord of diverse jobs in various locations, raising children, mostly by myself, and the joy of participating in the Back-to-the-Land and New Age movements. Getting a sense of myself.
I came back to nutrition in the early 90s. A new, different kind of nutrition. For profit nutrition. Tried to fit in, but it was all wrong. I fell into a fun career in fitness that lasted until I retired to write this book about Foods and Nutrition. Still my heart’s true love.
I have a wealth of history to share with you featuring changing attitudes and practices around food, nutrition and women’s lives. I share forgotten facts and fresh insights. Ways to identify slick advertising and wrong science. How to pick your “experts.” How to choose a diet with confidence.
Intertwined throughout I share those prickly roadblocks designed to keep women in their place. I share secrets I’ve held for a lifetime, enabling me to narrate, sometimes in detail, the patriarchal-sanctioned abuses that robbed me of my full potential as a professional woman and as a human being.
Uncanny correlations unfold when taking a bird’s eye view of the mistreatment of women and marketing of false food over these past 85 years.
Now, the distractions of these uncertain times create an opening for action, to reclaim our health and ourselves. To turn The Bite of History around. The shift has already begun.
Not usually into autobiographies, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Caroline’s story. Very captivating and interesting, reminding us what women had to overcome this last century to make a stand in history. Even though a few years younger, I could relate well to some of the stories. I love how she does not sugarcoat things. Names it what it is! Great Job!
The story of an intrepid woman sincerely sharing the whole spectrum of her life without shying away from the grueling, even horrible encounters and tough choices. The nutritional information in the appendix is very enlightening. You’ll never look at the USDA nutritional pyramid the same way again.
Jim, Gainesville, Florida
Jim, Gainesville, Florida