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A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food…

A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization

by Kenneth F. Kiple

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A history of the animals, plants, and processes that make up our food, from the dawn of civilization into modernity. There's some interesting information in here, but it's hidden in what are basically lists. This book is exactly as exciting as an encyclopedia. Now, when I was younger I confess to voluntarily reading encyclopedias from cover to cover (though I never got past the first N volume), but that was for lack of other reading material. Once in a while, a spark of a thesis glimmered, but it was smothered under piles of facts. Still, Kiple's basic points stand up to his yawn-inducing style: the development of agriculture was good for the survival of the human species but bad for our health; GMOs are the bestest; politics, wars, and borders are inextricably linked with foodstuffs. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Essentially a distillation of the "Cambridge World History of Food," the author traces the paths by which the modern cuisines of the world came to be, and the attendant health and social issues that these processes have left in their wake. At the very least I'm reminded of the notorious quip by Tony Bourdain that great cuisine is the result of non-consensual relations with invading armies! ( )
  Shrike58 | Jan 25, 2014 |
Sweeping yet detailed, Kenneth KIpple's A Movable Feast covers the long haul of humanity's appetite beginning with the Neolithic Revolution that to this day still largely dictates our diet and thus our health. The irony which Kibble so vividly paints is that while the feast has been movable, our lives have become increasingly sedentary. Yet as we remain the beast, the last surviving hominid (there were at least three others 10,000 years ago), that two million years of evolution designed to be a mobile hunter-gatherer, our sedentary lifestyles present all sorts of health complications from tooth decay to obesity to diabetes. ( )
  charles.lemos | Feb 20, 2013 |
Well researched and incredibly interesting. A Movable Feast looks at the history of food from the beginning of the world to present day. It left me with a desire to eat food that is more natural and closer to the earth that produced it. ( )
  aep00a | Sep 8, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 052179353X, Hardcover)

In the last twenty-five years alone, the range of fruits and vegetables, even grains, that is available at most local markets has changed dramatically. Over the last 10,000 years, that change is almost unimaginable. This groundbreaking new work, from the editor of the highly regarded Cambridge World History of Food, examines the exploding global palate. It begins with the transition from foraging to farming that got underway some 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, then examines subsequent transitions in Egypt, Africa south of the Sahara, China, southeast Asia, the Indus Valley Oceanic, Europe, and the Americas. It ends with chapters on genetically modified foods, the fast food industry, the nutritional ailments people have suffered from, famine, the obesity epidemic, and a look at the future on the food front. Food, at its most basic, fuels the human body. At its most refined, food has been elevated to a position of fine art. The path food has taken through history is a fairly straightforward one; the space which it occupies today could not be more fraught. This sweeping narrative covers both ends of the spectrum, reminding us to be grateful for and delighted in a grain of wheat, as well as making us aware of the many questions that remain unanswered about what lies ahead. Did you know. . .
- That beans were likely an agricultural mistake?
- That cheese making was originated in Iran over 6000 years ago?
- That pepper was once worth its weight in gold?
- That sugar is the world s best-selling food, surpassing even wheat?
- That Winston Churchill asserted, in 1942, that tea was more important to his troops than ammunition?
- That chili con carne is one of the earliest examples of food globalization?
- That, by 1880, virtually every major city in America had a Chinese restaurant?
- That white bread was once considered too nutritious?
Kenneth Kiple reveals these facts and more within A Moveable Feast.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:31 -0400)

"This book, based largely on The Cambridge World History of Food, provides a look at the globalization of food from the days of the hunter-gatherers to present-day genetically modified plants and animals. The establishment of agriculture and the domestication of animals in Eurasia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas are all treated in some detail along with the subsequent diffusion of farming cultures through the activities of monks, missionaries, migrants, imperialists, explorers, traders, and raiders."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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