Food Over Medicine

Food Over Medicine

Nearly half of Americans take at least one prescription medicine, with almost a quarter taking three or more, as diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and dementia grow more prevalent than ever. The problem with medicating common ailments, such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, is that drugs treat symptoms—and may even improve test results—without addressing the cause: diet.

Overmedicated, overfed, and malnourished, most Americans fail to realize the answer to lower disease rates doesn’t lie in more pills but in the foods we eat.

With so much misleading nutritional information regarded as common knowledge, from “everything in moderation” to “avoid carbs,” the average American is ill-equipped to recognize the deadly force of abundant, cheap, unhealthy food options that not only offer no nutritional benefits but actually bring on disease.

In Food Over Medicine, Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, and Glen Merzer invite the reader into a conversation about the dire state of American health—the result of poor nutrition choices stemming from food politics and medical misinformation. But, more important, they share the key to getting and staying healthy for life.

Backed by numerous scientific studies, Food Over Medicine details how dietary choices either build health or destroy it. Including recipes from Chef Del Sroufe, author of the bestselling Forks Over KnivesThe Cookbook and Better Than Vegan, Food Over Medicine reveals the power and practice of optimal nutrition in an accessible way.

Spinach Enchiladas

Spinach Enchiladas

Dr. Pam's Vanilla Ice Cream

Dr. Pam's Vanilla Ice Cream

Thai Pizza

Thai Pizza

About the Authors

Pam Popper

Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, is a naturopath, an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, medicine, and health, and the Executive Director of The Wellness Forum. Dr. Popper serves on the Physician’s Steering Committee and the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Popper is one of the health care professionals involved in the famed Sacramento Food Bank Project, in which economically disadvantaged people were shown how to reverse their diseases and eliminate medications with diet.

Dr. Popper is part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s teaching team at eCornell, teaching part of a certification course on plant-based nutrition. She has been featured in many widely distributed documentaries, including Processed People and Making a Killing and appears in a new film, Forks Over Knives, which played in major theaters throughout North America in 2011. She is one of the coauthors of the companion book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for several months.

Learn more at

Glen Merzer

Glen Merzer is coauthor with Del Sroufe of Better Than Vegan, with Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND of Food Over Medicine, with Eric Brent of The HappyCow Cookbook, with Howard Lyman of Mad Cowboy, with Howard Lyman and Joanna Samorow-Merzer of No More Bull!, and with Chef AJ of Unprocessed. He is also the author of Off the Reservation. Merzer is also a playwright and screenwriter, having most recently completed a screenplay for Mad Cowboy. He has been a vegetarian for 40 years and a vegan for the last 20.

Featured Recipe

Stir Fry Pasta with Vegetables

Serves 4

Download the Recipe
Stir Fry Pasta with Vegetables


12 ounces whole grain penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
½ medium yellow onion, julienned
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed and cut in half
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, more or less to taste
Black pepper to taste


Cook the pasta. Heat a large skillet over high heat.

Add the onion, carrots, and broccoli. Stir-fry for four minute, adding water one to two tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking.

Add the sugar snap peas and cook for two minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger, Bragg Liquid Aminos, and cooked pasta. Cook another minute and season with black pepper.

Publication Details

Food Over Medicine
  • Title: Food Over Medicine
  • Author: Pamela A. Popper and Glen Merzer
  • Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
  • Publication Date: Cloth: 06/11/2013 | Trade paper: 12/16/2014
  • Price: Cloth: $24.95 US/$27.50 CAN | Trade paper: $14.95 US/$17.50 CAN
  • Format: Cloth, trade paper, and ebook
  • Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.25
  • Page Count: 290 pages
  • ISBN: Cloth: 978-1-937856-80-9 | Trade paper: 978-1-940363-75-2
  • Ebook ISBN: 978-1-937856-57-1


Very few people, and even very few doctors, really understand how powerful nutrition can be in preventing and in treating most of the illness that afflicts us today. Food Over Medicine is an outstanding resource for anyone wanting to maximize their health and minimize their dependence on western medicine.

— John Robbins, author of No Happy Cows and Diet for a New America

Food Over Medicine explains nutrition in an original, highly compelling way. A totally digestible, accessible approach to learning how to maintain or regain your health.

— Rory Freedman, author of Skinny Bitch

A unique, fresh approach that makes the book a fun and enjoyable read.

VegNews Magazine

Reading Food Over Medicine is like having nutrition explained to you in a no-nonsense way by a dear friend. This is not some dry textbook; it's a jargon-free conversation—one that will change your life!

— Lindsay S. Nixon, author of the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbook series

Food Over Medicine is brimming with useful information that is both detailed and yet easy to understand. The question-and-answer format is very effective with excellent points. It’s the sort of book that everyone who cares about their health should read.

— Lee Fulkerson, director of Forks Over Knives

Food Over Medicine is a must for anyone remotely concerned about health. It is incredibly funny, totally engaging, and promotes a diet that just happens to be the best for the planet.

— Ed Begley Jr., actor and environmental activist

Reading Food Over Medicine could be the best health insurance you ever had. This no-nonsense approach to solid health information may save your life!

— Howard F. Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy and No More Bull!

Food Over Medicine is an excellent book that reveals the truth that health is more about dietary choices and plant-based nutrition than about doctors, diagnostic tests, surgeries, procedures, and medications. The book is easy-to-read, entertaining, and humorous. But, above all else, it is incredibly informative, enlightening, inspiring, and self-empowering. It will open your eyes. It will encourage you to take charge of your life.

— Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., author of Forgive to Win!

Food Over Medicine cuts through every nutrition-related controversy to give you the information you need for a lifetime of health and trim weight.

— Janice Stanger, Ph.D., author of The Perfect Formula Diet

Wellness Forum executive director and naturopath Popper and co-author Merzer (coauthor, Mad Cowboy) sit readers down for a long talk about “eating [one’s] way out of disease” in this no-nonsense dialogue.

Publishers Weekly

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