Sophie Egan

Web Name: Sophie Egan






How to Be a Conscious Eater


A radically practical guide to making food choices that are are good for you, others, and the planet.

Is organic really worth it? Are eggs ok to eat? If so, which ones are best for you, and for the chicken—Cage-Free, Free-Range, Pasture-Raised? What about farmed salmon, soy milk, sugar, gluten, fermented foods, coconut oil, almonds? Thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or somewhere in between?

Using three criteria—Is it good for me? Is it good for others? Is it good for the planet?—Sophie Egan helps us navigate the bewildering world of food so that we can all become conscious eaters. To eat consciously is not about diets, fads, or hard-and-fast rules. It’s about having straightforward, accurate information to make smart, thoughtful choices amid the chaos of conflicting news and marketing hype. An expert on food’s impact on human and environmental health, Egan organizes the book into four categories—stuff that comes from the ground, stuff that comes from animals, stuff that comes from factories, and stuff that’s made in restaurant kitchens. This guide offers bottom-line answers to your most top-of-mind questions about what to eat.

What they’re saying

“…smart and sensible approach to conscious eating…” — @MichaelPollan, New York Timesbestselling author

If you’ve ever stalled out in the refrigerated aisle debating the environmental merits of oat vs. almond milk, add this book to your bedside table. Sophie Egan provides clear, non-judgmental information...It’s a practical guide that empowers readers to understand the plethora of labels and claims out there and make informed food choices every time you go to the store."Bon Appétit (named one of their “Favorite New Books for Climate-Friendly Cooking and Life”)

Deftly avoiding fads and hype, author Sophie Egan, a food systems consultant and contributor to the New York Times’ Well blog, has packed this book with straight-forward, user-friendly information for good health and sustainability.” —Civil Eats (named one of the recommended books in their “2020 Food and Farming Holiday Book Gift Guide”)

This digestible book is meant as a one-stop guide for people who have wondered about how to eat responsibly and ended up in the ‘dark, dank rabbithole of twenty-seven different browser windows’ with no good answers.” Smithsonian (named one of their “Ten Best Books About Food of 2020”)

“The clearest, most useful food book I own. Thank you, Sophie, from my stomach, farm animals everywhere, and my great-great-grandchildren.” —A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author

“Thought-provoking… Egan displays a talent for making the environmental complexities of food choices comprehensible… [A] thorough primer to combining health consciousness and environmental responsibility.” —Publishers Weeklystarred review

“Readers will find much to take away, including reminders that our consumer behavior can drive change and that what's good for us and good for the planet often align.” — Booklist

Egan presents a voice of reason in the cacophony of advice about food and diet that surrounds us…VERDICT Recommended for everyone who eats…” —Library Journal starred review

“…a one-stop shop for the practical ways to eat, purchase, and think, and covers everything from food allergies to how to read confusing labels in the store.” —La Cucina Italiana

“…the author is a journalist and her skills are evident in the book’s easy-to-understand distillation of complex scientific and policy matters.” —Skipping Stones (honored with a 2020 Book Award, in the Nature and Ecology category)

Buy the book

Support your local bookstore!


Town Hall Seattle

Talks at Google (virtual)

King 5 TV (Seattle)

Edible Education 101: Conscious Eating and Transparency (UC Berkeley)

Future Food Institute’s Food is a Conversation: Sustainable Gastronomy Day (Italy)

Kiwi Magazine’s Beyond the Lunchbox Virtual Conference: “Become A Food Waste Warrior: Tips And Tricks For Saving Money And The Planet One Carrot Top At A Time”


Smithsonian (one of their “Ten Best Books About Food of 2020”) Bon Appétit (one of their “Favorite New Books for Climate-Friendly Cooking and Life”) | Civil Eats (recommended in their “2020 Food and Farming Holiday Book Gift Guide”) | Salon | UC Food Observer | Health Magazine | Parents Magazine | La Cucina Italiana | Chowhound | Kiwi | Skipping Stones (honored with a 2020 Book Award) Cuisine at Home | Publishers Weekly | Lifehacker | TreeHugger | Oakland Magazine | Stanford Magazine (one of their “New Releases That Inspire Us”) | Brightly

KUOW (Seattle) WOSU/NPR (Columbus) KPCW/NPR (Salt Lake City) WDET/NPR (Detroit) WNYC (New York City)

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