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  • Writer's pictureMax Sinsheimer

SOLD! A Life in Food Politics (by Marion Nestle)

I am so pleased to announce that my friend and earliest client, Marion Nestle, will be publishing her memoir A Life in Food Politics with the University of California Press!

Many of you know Marion as an incredibly influential food activist. She founded the first food studies department in America, at New York University, inaugurating food as a subject worthy of academic attention. With the publication of Food Politics nearly twenty years ago, and with her many books since, she opened our eyes to the ways in which the food industry wields political influence to drive government food policy (often at the expense of public health). Her near-daily blog at is the first place to visit for sane, informed perspectives on the major nutrition, food safety, and food systems issues of our day (it's certainly the first stop for many journalists).

A Life in Food Politics, will reflect on when, why, and how Marion became interested in food and nutrition, how she came to write Food Politics, and how she found the strength to take on the food industry. It will tell stories about what it meant to come of age in the 1950s when expectations for women’s achievement were limited to marriage and family, few women had careers, let alone scientific careers, and doors to advancement were difficult to open. And it will inspire readers still searching for their purpose later in life; Marion's professional interest in food did not begin until she had passed fifty and already raised a family.

Marion Nestle on KQED’s Over Easy.

This screen shot is from Marion's first appearance on television, on KQED’s Over Easy. She is explaining to host Frank Blair why potatoes are more nutritious than highly processed “Potato Bits.” Check out that afro!

I met Marion when I was a young editor at Oxford University Press, managing a multi-contributor encyclopedia of New York City food and drink called Savoring Gotham. I remember Marion wrote the entry on Bloomberg's soda "ban." It was just a short entry, maybe 500 words, but we hit it off, and soon I had acquired her next book, Soda Politics. When I left OUP shortly after that book published and told her I was thinking of starting a literary agency, she signed with me before I had a website, business cards, or, truth be told, articles of incorporation drafted. That was four years ago. Since then we've published two more books together: Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat and Let's Ask Maron: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health. It is the privilege of a lifetime to represent Marion, and I can't wait to share her personal and professional story with the world!

Here is the deal memo posted on Publishers Marketplace:

Congratulations to Marion, and also to her wonderful long-time editor at University of California Press, Kate Marshall!


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