Steve Willis – Winning the Food Fight

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Winning the Food Fight will help readers understand the connection between our physical and spiritual cravings and how they relate to food.Our national food system has been manipulated to manipulate us into a number of unhealthy behaviors that are literally killing us.God created food to be a gift and a source of pleasure but in the interest of monetary gain, we have created a food system that leads people to an early grave.The present generation of children being born is the first generation in the history of the United States that is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. The main reason this is true is because we are gorging ourselves on unhealthy, chemically altered substances that resemble fresh, whole foods.This is a moral issue and every church, community, family, and individual needs to get involved before it’s too late.

Tell us something about yourself.

I grew up in an impoverished family that had somewhat of a miraculous turnaround so I could end up where I am today.Through a number of divine events, I have gone from the hills of Appalachia to speak in more than 20 countries and on five continents.Outside of the academic realm, I haven’t done much broad-audience writing before Winning the Food Fight, but I know our nation has to re-think its attitude toward food or this health care crisis is going to spin out of control.

What inspired you to write this book?

Right after I became a pastor, I began noticing how many of our people were suffering due to diseases related to obesity. My friends were literally dying. I also noticed how my own son was doing poorly in school and mind-altering drugs weren’t helping.After a little bit of research, I came to see how both of these problems were diet-related.Once we changed our eating habits, our lives began to change.My son went from a C student to an A student just by changing the way he was eating.I began thinking, “How many other children could be excelling in school but they are not just because we are giving them too much sugar, fat, and sodium-filled foods?”To me, it is a moral imperative that we educate people and change the way they relate to food.

How did you choose the title?

Before I teamed up with Jamie Oliver on ABC’s Food Revolution, I thought everyone could agree that school lunches needed to change.Little did I know that some very large businesses were getting rich by feeding our kids highly processed food.There’s a lot of money to be made by feeding people cheap food that will eventually lead them to be dependent on prescription medications.The battle for good food is just that — a battle, a fight.Too many people are getting rich from our food system.It will take the masses to make a change.We have to win this fight.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I was fortunate to find a solid publisher that had a heart for seeing people get healthy both spiritually and physically.Once we connected, everything has gone fairly smoothly.Now, it’s just a matter of getting the word out about Winning the Food Fight.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I never had aspirations of being an author.I just wanted to help people find their way to loving God and each other.However, after being on ABC, CNN, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and a number of other national media venues, I started getting calls from all over the country wanting to find out how we were turning around our city which the Center for Disease Control deemed us the ‘unhealthiest city in America.”The book encapsulates our story and how every city, church, community, family and individual can make changes as well.If the fattest city in America can improve, anyone can.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I put my kids to bed at 9pm, kiss my wife goodnight at 10pm, and write until 2am.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

It’s a real-life book.This part was easy :)

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Writing and publishing this book has taught me that people will usually change if you give them the information they need to change.The reception for the book, thus far, has been exemplary.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?


What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I like religious non-fiction.The more truth I know the more truth I can impart to others.As Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free.”

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Not yet, I’m too busy publicizing this one.My wife wants to do a follow-up project focusing on the importance of family dinners.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Get an agent.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Everyone who eats food should read this book. More specifically, since moms are usually the ones who prepare the meals for the family, I’d say they are my number one audience.I know they want the best for their children.I just want to help them understand how all of us are spiritual and physical beings and food impacts both aspects of our lives in a major, major way.

I would also like to get this book into the hands of as many pastors as possible.The church seems to preach against every sin EXCEPT gluttony.It’s one thing to point out sins in others’ lives.It’s another to address the sins that run rampant in our own backyards.