Food: A History

By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
December 2001
Macmillan
ISBN: 0-333-90174-6
303 pages, Illustrated, 6 x 9 "
$33.50 hardcover


The story of food is cultural as well as culinary. The history of how we produce, process, prepare and eat it encompasses ecology as well as gastronomy. In this book, the history is global, ranging over 500,000 years, and yet the author makes the reading contemporary by tracing it back from current food trends and food chains, tastes and anxieties. At the heart of this fascinating work are eight great revolutions in food history-humankind set apart from all other species by cooking; ritualization of eating bringing meaning and magic into people's relationship with what they are; herding and livestock breeding; invention of agriculture; rise of inequality making food an indicator of rank; long-range transmission of foodstuffs; ecological exchanges and the global distribution of plants and livestock; and industrialization and globalization transforming the way food is delivered, consumed, and conceived. The author teaches modern history at Oxford University, and during 2002 was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota.

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