Food Truths from Farm to Table
25 Surprising Ways to Shop & Eat without Guilt
by Michele Payn
March 2017, 210pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4997-8
$41, £31, 36€, A56
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4998-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Everyone eats. Yet two-thirds of the U.S. population lives in cities, with many of these individuals never having visited a farm where their food is produced.

Don't believe everything you're told about food—most of it is highly misleading or completely untrue. Written by a farm and food advocate, this book identifies marketing half-truths and guides you through the aisles of the grocery store to simplify smart food shopping and restore your freedom to enjoy food.

What is the only “food” on your dinner table that does not contain hormones? How can animals raised for food also be treated with respect? Is it true that a typical serving of broccoli has more estrogen than a serving of steak? Why is more than 40 percent of food wasted in the United States? Food Truths from Farm to Table: 25 Surprising Ways to Shop & Eat without Guilt answers all of these questions and many more, bringing an unheard voice into the highly emotional food debate. Authored by Michele Payn, a leading farm and food advocate with an in-depth understanding of both sides of the plate, this intriguing book helps readers understand how food is really produced, answers food critics, and points out how food marketing and labels are often half-truths or even “less-than-half truths.”

These 25 food truths enable an understanding of how food is grown, providing a transparent window into today’s farming and ranching practices that empowers you to make informed personal choices and determine what is right for your family. Each chapter presents a farm or ranch story, answers questions around a major issue, provides science-based information, and includes a sidebar section of food truths and myths.

Readers will gain insights from a food expert who offers a viewpoint that stands in stark contrast to the typical sensationalist and often negative perspective on fashionable food—accurate information that will help you to better trust the intentions and processes in farming and ranching. The revelations in this book will simplify food shopping, reduce guilt about being a consumer, and give you the freedom to enjoy your food again.


  • Turns food confusion into clarity, enabling readers to have confidence regarding how to buy, prepare, and serve safe, healthy, and nourishing food
  • Offers an informed voice of reason to the overly sensationalized food and health arena
  • Provides practical tips and accurate information that allows readers to make decisions based on their own social, ethical, environmental, and health standards
  • Reveals why parents should not feel guilty if they cannot afford the "right" label or the "right" food when food-shopping for their family
Michele Payn is an author and a media resource who speaks from the intersection of farm and food to bring clarity and common sense to the grocery store. Known as one of North America's leading advocates, Payn is passionate about getting back to the truth in food—consumables raised the right way, by the right people, for the right reasons. She is an in-demand media resource whose work has appeared in USA Today, Food Insight, Food & Nutrition Magazine, Grist, and others as well as on NPR and CNN. As a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), she has addressed hundreds of groups and audiences, such as dietetic associations, universities, Genome Prairie, the Michigan Vegetable Growers' Association, the Farm Credit Council, the Apple Processors Association, and farm bureaus in more than 30 states, helping thousands of people around the world translate farm to food. Payn is the author of No More Food Fights! Growing a Productive Farm & Food Conversation. Her website is and her social media identity is @mpaynspeaker.


2018 IPPY Award Bronze Medal in Health/Medicine/Nutrition category—Independent Publisher, April 12, 2018


"Take a trip around the grocery store armed with 25 truths about food to improve nutrition, reduce guilt and simplify shopping. Food Truths from Farm to Table, by food expert Michele Payn, keeps it fresh and fun while talking about how food is produced and how to judge confusing marketing claims and sometimes-sensationalized concerns about food dangers."—California Bountiful, September 29, 2017

“This book is for the 7 billion people who eat each day. Michele Payn highlights how family farms are fighting food waste, hunger, and other issues, and the solutions they're coming up with in fields across the world.” —Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank

“Smart grocery shopping and healthy eating shouldn’t require a science degree. Food Truths from Farm to Table guides you through the grocery store and saves you time. If you’re looking to shop and eat with less guilt, read this book. Michele’s 25 food truths will give you the freedom to enjoy your food again.”—Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru, former NBC News’ Today Show Food Trends Editor, Author and Speaker

“This is an important topic whether you are an academic, dietitian, or consumer. Michele Payn’s 25 food truths are grounded in science and she offers an unheard voice in the debate around food, nutrition, and health. If you want to give yourself permission to be smart about food, read Food Truths from Farm to Table today.” —Sonya Meyer, PhD, Director, Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho

"Buy, prepare, and serve healthy, affordable food with confidence after reading Food Truths from Farm to Table: 25 Surprising Ways to Shop & Eat without Guilt. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in food, nutrition, and health!” —Elizabeth Pivonka, PhD, RD, President & CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation

In Food Truths from Farm to Table, Michele Payn cuts through the incredible noise that surrounds our food choices to provide clear, insightful answers to some of the most common questions about food. Organized in a creative way, she provides a highly informative ‘guide book’ to the grocery store, bringing both current research and insights from those who produce our food to unpack some of the most vexing questions and widespread myths about food. This candid and common sense book will help you be a much more informed consumer and take the shame out of the food choices you make.” —Jay Akridge, PhD, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, Purdue University

"Food Truths from Farm to Table is very refreshing as the book exemplifies critical thinking skills needed in any discussion about food. Michele Payn offers readers an inside look at farmer's abilities and initiatives, as well as the technologies and knowledge of many others in producing safe and affordable food. Her personal experiences and transparency build trust—and when combined with Michele’s extensive research, these food truths become real to readers. This book will help consumers sort through how to make the best food choices for their families.” —W. Dwight Armstrong, PhD, Retired CEO, National FFA Organization

"Food Truths from Farm to Table provides a transparent window into modern day agriculture so you can better know the people and practices behind your food. Michele Payn has a unique ability to connect the values of farming and food buyers through story and science."—Charlie Arnot, CEO, Center for Food Integrity

“Everyone can benefit from a clearer understanding of why farmers and ranchers produce food the way they do. Michele Payn takes readers inside farms and ranches to answer questions about the food issues on consumers’ minds. Food Truths from Farm to Table provides a much-needed, well-rounded, and accurate perspective on today’s farming and ranching.” —Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation

“It’s time to celebrate and enjoy our abundant, wonderful food choices without angst, guilt, shame, or fear. Food Truths from Farm to Table will help you be smart and comfortable about all food choices, while identifying marketing half-truths and misinformation that take the joy out of eating. Michele Payn connects farming, food, nutrition, and health throughout this useful book.”—Kim Galeaz, RDN CD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Culinary Consultant

"This is an awesome book that provides usable information about food, farming, and nutrition. Michele Payn's insight is contrarian to the sensationalism of fashionable food, but will help you take the drama out of food choices. Food Truths from Farm to Table is an important read for every dietician, grocery shopper, and anyone who wants to enjoy food."—Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD

“An engaging defense of modern agricultural production practices." —Jayson Lusk, Professor of agricultural economics and author of Unnaturally Delicious

“This is an important topic for anyone who eats! Michele Payn’s writing makes tough topics approachable; she gives an insider’s look at all types of farming and ranching. Food Truths from Farm to Table will give you reasonable answers to your biggest food questions.”—Crystal Mackay, CEO, Farm & Food Care Canada

“As a dietitian for grocery store chain, I know this book will not only help answer questions our customers have about the food they see on our shelves but also be a valuable resource to other supermarket dietitians throughout the country. Michele Payn gives practical insight to address myths around food, nutrition, and health. Read Food Truths from Farm to Table if you want to bring clarity to your food experience, based on science and real-life experience.” —Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

“Understanding the ‘real story’ about food is a critical issue for every health professional, parent, chef, and essentially anyone buying food. You will find answers to your most challenging questions around nutrition and health in Food Truths from Farm to Table—and learn to enjoy, not fear, food.”—Marianne Edge Smith, MS, RD, LD, FADA, FAND, past president of Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics; President, MSE & Associates and Farm Owner
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