Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System Is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture by Kristin Lawless

Formerly Known As Food by Kristin LawlessBacon Phat
00:00 / 58:07

Formerly Known As Food unapologetically takes on the entire food industry and tackles all the interrelated issues.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Making homemade hot dogs

  • Beef heart andouille and refried pinto beans w bacon phat, poached eggs

  • Bone broth collagen banana smoothie

  • Beef tongue tacos, tamales w sweet potato/chicken, tomatillo salsa

  • More electrolytes = poop more regularly

Show notes:

The episode


11:06: Who is author and nutrition therapist Kristin lawless?

11:50: The food industry is complex, and the problems are far-reaching

15:54: Folic acid and folate are NOT the same thing. You want methyl folate!

17:10: We like Kristin Lawless’s discussion of nutritionism more than Michael Pollan’s

20:20: Nutrient synergy is important; you may not get all the nutrients you need and the benefits of them working together if you only supplement instead of eating ancestral, whole foods

25:10: The benefits of eating beef from cattle raised on pasture versus CAFO operations

28:30: You can care about animal welfare AND not want slavery to exist. They are not mutually exclusive.

34:56: Breast-feeding babies

48:00: What happens when you eat garbage food

  • Kristin writes of processed food,

To recap: If you ate a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats or Kashi GoLean with milk for breakfast, you ate the following: GMO vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are likely oxidized; GMO corn, also high in omega-6 fatty acids; GMO sugar; BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), another potentially harmful preservative and endocrine disruptor; rBST, a suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptor; milk protein concentrates and nonfat milk solids; and various forms of oxidized fats resulting from the homogenization and pasteurization of the milk. You probably also consumed an array of herbicide and pesticide residues from the GMO sugar, corn, and vegetable oils as well as pesticide and antibiotic residues in the milk from the cows, which were given antibiotics and fed GMO grain. And, in the case of Honey Bunches of Oats, you also consumed caramel color, which is a potential carcinogen; California requires a health hazard label for products that contain it.

51:12: The problems of the food industry are all intertwined. To be fully healthy, you have to look at all aspects of the industry, not just bits and pieces.

56:56: Parents should be paid for raising their children. We continue this discussion on Episode 16.


We love Formerly Known As Food as much as any book. It is perhaps the most similar to our views on the food industry and its complexity. Not only does Lawless examine the idiocy that is vegetable oil, but she also writes about the importance of breastfeeding, the negative impacts of GMO and non-organic foods, and the flawed thinking that is nutritionism. We like that she doesn’t just consider one aspect of the food industry as the basis for society’s health crisis. She describes how they all work together and play a part in making everyone sick.

Our major critique of Lawless’s book is that she messes up small details, like the difference between folic acid and folate. The latter is the bioavailable form necessary for health and only found in food while the former is just a cheap industry knockoff. This kind of mistake underlies why the book is so important. You have to get nutrition and health information from more than just one source. If you rely on only one book or one doctor, you will definitely miss important details.