Mark Bittman is not Michael Pollan, though they have some things in common. Bittman’s book, with the deliberately ambiguous title of Food Matters, is quite different from his standard fare. Bittman is best known for his cookbooks (and his appearances as a foodie on television), but here he concentrates on nutrition and the politics of food, à la Pollan. There’s also plenty of recipes — about half of the book, actually — but they don’t really form the focus of this work. The issues are mostly predictable: vegetarianism, carbs vs. fats, the role of corporate farming (especially corn), the food pyramid, saving the environment, and the larger question of what a healthy diet is. In a sense this is “applied Pollan,” as Bittman provides the details of how to eat in the way he recommends. You may not agree with his recommendations — indeed, probably no reader will agree with all of them — but this readable book is worth reading.