THE BOOK

Sick of gagging on heart-clogging slop when you take a road trip but clueless about where to find healthier fare in an unfamiliar town? "Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating" (Ceres Press, 2004, $18.95) could provide an up-to-date answer.

THE TASTY

Going state by state, the book lists 1,900 restaurants, food co-ops and corner food stands that offer vittles described as vegetarian, organic or just plain better-for-you. A map locates these approved haunts and the book also gives driving directions -- something some other such books (none as new as this one) don't include.

THE TREATS

Authors Nikki (a nutritionist) and David (a lawyer) Goldbeck -- who penned "The Supermarket Handbook," a guide to grocery shopping, in 1973 -- offer nutritional fun facts and quizzes. Example: "True or false? Saltwater fish have more than twice the sodium content of freshwater fish." ("False. The sodium content is the same.")

THE BITTERS

The book doesn't distinguish places that charge, say, $32 for an entree from those that charge $6. This could lead to some sojourners' showing up at places like the upscale Restaurant Nora in muddy shorts. Also, a book like this can become old quickly. Updates on the related www.healthyhighways.com might help.

HARD FACTS

Research is scant on the long-term effects of consuming conventional vs. organic foods. Still, reason the Goldbecks, foods like hormone- and antibiotic-free ham on sprouted wheat-grain bread have got to be better for you than some beef jerky and a Twinkie.