Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Book in Review - A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization, By: Kenneth F. Kiple
Non-fiction: history, nutrition, culture 306 pages, copyright 2007

This book is about the entire history of food in human history. It starts with the hunter gathers; who apparently were the healthiest people as far as nutrition goes and ends with the issues of the modern era, like genetically engineering food and the vast increase of processed and fast food in the diet of industrial nations. It includes lots of useful information and odd facts such as: the amount of salt that an average American today eats in a day would be a deadly dose for most people throughout history, pepper was once worth it’s weight in gold, apples are not native to America, when the Inuit of the Artic changed there diet from one of almost exclusively raw meat to one of grains, fruit, veggies, cooked meat, and milk (i.e. the food pyramid) it actually decreased their health as over the centuries their bodies had evolved to pull all their nutritional needs out of the raw meat and they weren’t able to do the same as well with a diet based more on how Europeans evolved food wise, and that changes in potatoes grown in Ireland is what caused the potato famine to be so bad, even though the changes were made to make a famine less likely. This would be a good book to read if you are into food, how cultures change and interact, or concerns over globalization, the environment and other related issues and you don’t mind reading a book with a footnote for ever couple of sentences. (The footnotes are in the back making it easier to skip, but I just wanted to let you know it is not a light read.)

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