The bestselling author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses charts an enlightening history of humanity through the foods we eat.
Throughout history, food has done more than simply provide sustenance. It has acted as a tool of social transformation, political organization, geopolitical competition, industrial development, military conflict and economic expansion. An Edible History of Humanity is an account of how food has helped to shape and transform societies around the world, from the emergence of farming in China by 7,500 BCE to today's use of sugar cane and corn to make ethanol.
Food has been a kind of technology, a tool that has changed the course of human progress. It helped to found, structure, and connect together civilizations worldwide, and to build empires and bring about a surge in economic development through industrialization. Food has been employed as a military and ideological weapon. And today, in the culmination of a process that has been going on for thousands of years, the foods we choose in the supermarket connect us to global debates about trade, development and the adoption of new technologies.
Drawing from many fields including genetics, archaeology, anthropology, ethno-botany and economics, the story of these food-driven transformations is a fully satisfying account of the whole of human history.
Standage provides an intriguing history of how hunger has shaped civilizations and prompted technological advancements. Starting with hunter-gatherer societies, Standage traces the evolution of cuisines and addition of new ingredients to the current debates over organic and industrialized food systems. With a gentle and deep voice, George K. Wilson guides listeners through the thought-provoking theses with the tone of a knowledgeable and sincere tour guide. His emphasis and deliberate delivery help keep the prose engaging while giving sufficient aural direction for listeners to understand the relevance of a particular sentence or paragraph. A Walker hardcover.