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The Magic Feather Effect

"In The Magic Feather Effect, Melanie Warner demystifies the physiology of alternative (placebo) medicine, explaining exactly how, in the words of John Milton, ‘the mind can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven.’”

—PAUL A. OFFIT, MD, author of Do You Believe in    Magic?

"The small miracle of Warner’s entertaining and highly useful book is that it gives you the tools to understand how alternative medicine works, so you can confidently make up your own mind."


"Fair-minded, thorough, and focused on verifiable scientific research"

PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY starred review


About me

I'm an author, freelance journalist, mom of two boys, occasional runner. I grew up in Rhode Island and since then have slowly been making my way westward -- first New York City, then Boulder, Colorado and Honolulu, Hawaii. I'm now back in Boulder.


For the first part of my career, I wrote about business at what was then a very thick and profitable Fortune magazine. Several of those years were spent in Silicon Valley chronicling the dot com boom, the first one. I then went to the New York Times to cover the food industry, which became the subject of my first book, Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal.  These days, I write about science and health, business, and anything else that grabs my curiosity.

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Pandora's Lunchbox:

How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

A look at how food science and the economics of the food industry transformed our diets and changed the very idea of what food is.

Named a Best Food Book of 2013 by the Huffington Post 


“So much fun that you might forget how depressing it all is… There are more Holy Cow! moments here than even someone who thinks he or she knows what’s going on in food production could predict.”

- Mark Bittman, food columnist, The New York Times 


"If you’re concerned about food safety and the perils of the agricultural-gastronomic complex, this book is indispensable."

— Newsday

Contact me:


Represented by:

The Friedrich Agency

19 West 21st Street, Suite 201

New York, NY 10010


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