All Natural* by Nathanael Johnson
*A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier

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In this age of climate change, killer germs, and obesity, it's easy to feel as if we've fallen out of synch with the global ecosystem. This ecological anxiety has polarized a new generation of Americans: many are drawn to natural solutions and organic lifestyles, while others rally around high-tech development and industrial efficiencies. Award-winning journalist Nathanael Johnson argues that both views, when taken to extremes, can be harmful, even deadly.

Johnson, raised in the crunchy-granola epicenter of Nevada City, California, lovingly and rigorously scrutinizes his family's all-natural mindset, a quest that brings him into the worlds of an outlaw midwife, radical doctors, renegade farmers and one hermit forester. Along the way, he uncovers paradoxes at the heart of our ecological condition: Why, even as medicine improves, are we becoming less healthy? Why are more American women dying in childbirth? Why do we grow fatter the more we diet? Why have so many attempts to save the environment backfired?

In this sparklingly intelligent, wry, and scrupulously reported narrative, Johnson teases fact from faith and offers a rousing and original vision for a middle ground between natural and technological solutions that will assuage frustrated environmentalists, perplexed parents, and confused consumers alike.

About Nathanael Johnson

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Nathanael Johnson is an award-winning journalist who has written features for Harper’s, New York, Outside, and San Francisco magazines, and produced stories for National Public Radio and This American Life. He studied with Michael Pollan at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Published January 29, 2013 by Rodale. 352 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Parenting & Relationships, Science & Math, Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The most intriguing sections feature studies on human milk and on anthropological findings in remote areas, while sections that recall the author's childhood perspective border on the indulgent.

Oct 17 2012 | Read Full Review of All Natural*: *A Skeptic's Qu...

Publishers Weekly

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These are some of the questions that journalist Johnson explores in his quest to “unravel the confusion surrounding technology and nature.” His vehicle for investigation is wonder, which he proposes to be “the place shared by the rigorous science of the technological perspective and the cre...

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of All Natural*: *A Skeptic's Qu...

Oregon Live

$26.99, 352 pages A reporter of "the space where food, medicine, and environment meet," and a product of his parents' back-to-nature convictions, Nathanael Johnson is fascinated with our oscillations "between two fundamentally different ways of understanding the world: the technological perspec...

Feb 02 2013 | Read Full Review of All Natural*: *A Skeptic's Qu...

Englewood Review of Books


May 01 2014 | Read Full Review of All Natural*: *A Skeptic's Qu...

Mother Jones

In this thought-provoking read, Harper's contributor Nathanael Johnson weaves stories of his patchouli upbringing with trenchant interrogations of both "natural" and "technological" solutions to everything from pig farming to child rearing.

Jan 28 2013 | Read Full Review of All Natural*: *A Skeptic's Qu...

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