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  • Cited by 35
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2009
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Book description

Pepper was once worth its weight in gold. Onions have been used to cure everything from sore throats to foot fungus. White bread was once considered too nutritious. From hunting water buffalo to farming salmon, A Movable Feast chronicles the globalization of food over the past ten thousand years. This engaging history follows the path that food has taken throughout history and the ways in which humans have altered its course. Beginning with the days of hunter-gatherers and extending to the present world of genetically modified chickens, Kenneth F. Kiple details the far-reaching adventure of food. He investigates food's global impact, from the Irish potato famine to the birth of McDonald's. Combining fascinating facts with historical evidence, this is a sweeping narrative of food's place in the world. Looking closely at geographic, cultural and scientific factors, this book reveals how what we eat has transformed over the years from fuel to art.


'… brimming with curious titbits: the use of cocoa beans as currency; the accidental domestication of rye, oats and various legumes after they hitched a ride with wheat and barley; Coca-Cola's origins as a health tonic. Anyone interested in the history of food for whom The Cambridge World History of Food seems too large a helping will find Mr Kiple's sprightly summary volume far more palatable.'

Source: The Economist

‘… it is a pleasure to see this offspring volume, written by one of [The Cambridge World History of Food]'s co-editors, providing readers with a rich taste of the larger volume's delights, but at a manageable size and price … The whole experience of reading the book is rather like being absorbed in an animated and engaging dinner party conversation. The talk never ceases to be interesting …'

Source: The Historian

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