From breakfast cereal to frozen pizza to nutrition bars, processed foods are a fundamental part of our diet, accounting for 65% of our nation’s yearly calories. Over the past century, technology has transformed the American meal into a chemical-laden smorgasbord of manipulated food products that bear little resemblence to what our grandparents ate. Despite the growing presence of farmers’ markets and organic offerings, food additives and chemical preservatives are nearly impossible to avoid, and even the most ostensibly healthy foods contain multisyllabic ingredients with nearly untraceable origins. The far-reaching implications of the industrialization of the food supply that privleges cheap, plentiful, and fast food have been well documented. They are dire. But how did we ever reach the point where ‘pink slime’ is an acceptable food product? Is anybody regulating what makes it into our food? What, after all, is actually safe to eat? Former York Times health columnist Melanie Warner combines deep investigatory reporting, culinary history, and cultural analysis, to find out how we got here and what it is we’re really eating. Vividly written and meticulously researched, Pandora’s Lunchbox blows the lid off the largely undocumented world of processed foods and food manipulation. From the vitamin “enrichments” to our fortified cereals and bread, to the soy mixtures that bolster chicken (and often outweigh the actual chicken included), Warner lays bare the dubious nutritional value and misleading labels of chemically-treated foods, as well as the potential price we–and our children–may pay.