Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Book in Review: An Edible History of Humanity

An Edible History of Humanity By: Tom Standage
Non-fiction: history, food 242 pages
book count: 44

This book deals with how food has changed history by looking at key times of history and ways that food has changed things. It deals with the change to farming, early civilizations, the spice trade, imperialism, the new world food exchange, war, created famines and the green revolution. It has lots of info relating on the subject. There were two things that I found odd in the book. First, the author feels that the switch from hunter gatherers to farmers was nutritional bad and gave people less free time. He has a lot of data that correlates with the nutritional issues, but not a lot on the time part. And that is the part of his argument that most others in the field would disagree with and so should have the most data backing it. (Note: I didn't read all of the notes in the back of the book, this is only based on the body of the book.) Also, a lot of the book deals with the fears that there will be too many people for the amount food there is, at different points in history. Although, this was a fear at many times and some still are afraid of the number of people in the world, he does point out the slowing of the growth and the most likely population implosion that will happen within a generation or two, and notes that that will also create issues dealing with food, but doesn't deal with it much in his food in the future area.

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