What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health (Hardcover)

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What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health (Hardcover)

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Are you really what you eat?


David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé take us far beyond the well-worn adage to deliver a new truth: the roots of good health start on farms. What Your Food Ate marshals evidence from recent and forgotten science to illustrate how the health of the soil ripples through to that of crops, livestock, and ultimately us.


The long-running partnerships through which crops and soil life nourish one another suffuse plant and animal foods in the human diet with an array of compounds and nutrients our bodies need to protect us from pathogens and chronic ailments. Unfortunately, conventional agricultural practices unravel these vital partnerships and thereby undercut our well-being. Can farmers and ranchers produce enough nutrient-dense food to feed us all? Can we have quality and quantity?


With their trademark thoroughness and knack for integrating information across numerous scientific fields, Montgomery and Biklé chart the way forward. Navigating discoveries and epiphanies about the world beneath our feet, they reveal why regenerative farming practices hold the key to healing sick soil and untapped potential for improving human health.


Humanity’s hallmark endeavors of agriculture and medicine emerged from our understanding of the natural world—and still depend on it. Montgomery and Biklé eloquently update this fundamental reality and show us why what’s good for the land is good for us, too. What Your Food Ate is a must-read for farmers, eaters, chefs, doctors, and anyone concerned with reversing the modern epidemic of chronic diseases and mitigating climate change.



David R. Montgomery is a professor at the University of Washington, a MacArthur Fellow, a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and an internationally recognized authority on geomorphology. His books have been translated into ten languages.

Anne Biklé is a biologist and environmental planner whose writing has appeared in Nautilus, Natural History, Smithsonian, Fine Gardening, and Best Health. She lives with her husband, David R. Montgomery, in Seattle. Their work includes a trilogy of books about soil health, microbiomes, and farming—Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, The Hidden Half of Nature, and Growing a Revolution.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324004530
ISBN-10: 1324004533
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Pages: 496
Language: English
Sure to become a classic—a biological Rosetta Stone that intimately and elegantly shows how the health of soil, plants, animals, and human beings are inseparable. What Your Food Ate is timely wisdom needed by all, an exquisitely crafted narrative of ecological literacy that upends more than a century of conventional thinking that fostered the misguided dominance of chemical farms, ultra-processed food, and the global rise of metabolic disease.

— Paul Hawken, author of Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation

Authoritative, informative, and entertaining. Montgomery and Biklé trace the way an array of health-promoting compounds in food begins with how we treat the soil. What Your Food Ate is both eye-opening and a call to action for consumers, farmers, and food companies alike

— Emeran Mayer, MD, author of The Mind-Gut Connection