Food: The Struggle to Sustain the Human Community

Overview

In this far-ranging text, Jake Goldberg delves into the history of food, from its beginnings 600 million years ago to our modern global agribusiness system. The author offers many thought-provoking observations how the struggle for food has determined who we are and how we think. His discussion includes world trade, food aid, the efforts of underdeveloped nations to feed themselves, and the future problems of food production in the world.

Discusses the history of ...

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Overview

In this far-ranging text, Jake Goldberg delves into the history of food, from its beginnings 600 million years ago to our modern global agribusiness system. The author offers many thought-provoking observations how the struggle for food has determined who we are and how we think. His discussion includes world trade, food aid, the efforts of underdeveloped nations to feed themselves, and the future problems of food production in the world.

Discusses the history of food, its production, and the political ramifications of its dissemination and consumption.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The subtitle reveals the serious approach of this book that details the history of food from the earliest life-forms to modern times. Goldberg sees the business of feeding ourselves as a fierce struggle that has shaped our institutions and beliefs and determined the course of history. In essence, he presents a 200-page history of the world as viewed through the issues of food and nutrition. Many geographic regions are treated, with some emphasis on Western civilization. The evolution of agricultural methods plays a major role, as does the economic impact of famines, droughts, and surpluses. Physically, the book looks as serious as its subject matter. Occasional black-and-white photos and illustrations provide the only visual relief in pages and pages of gray text. The writing is clear but dry. Piero Ventra's Food: Its Evolution through the Ages (Houghton, 1994) and Milton Meltzer's Food: How We Hunt and Gather It, How We Grow and Eat It (Millbrook, 1998) offer similar coverage in a livelier, more palatable style.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Food: The Struggle to Sustain the Human Community, by Jake Goldberg, is an unadorned book with a refreshing, albeit controversial, message: Humankind's success in moving from primitive to advanced societies is inexplicably linked to advances in agricultural and husbandry techniques. The author states up front that this is neither a cookbook nor a book on nutrition, but a book about how people experience food. Actually, it's a history of how humans have struggled to get more and better food, how they found or accidentally discovered successful food strategies in their local ecosystem, and how they fared with the issue of nourishing the tribe. From near starvation to an excess of food, the acts of procuring, preserving, and eventually eating the food move through the continuum of tedium to an act (typified by the groaning table) of ease and well-being. Along the way, Goldberg moves through world history, offering evidence for his thesis that food is the center of the social order and stability comes from surplus and revolt from scarcity. The volume is packed with information in pleasant prose, although the reader does encounter the author's opinionated, but sometimes refreshing, perspective. For example, he suggests that the Jews' rejection of eating pork was not because of the innate risk of disease from its flesh, but rather because the nomadic Hebrews of early times associated pigs with the settled farming communities of their enemies. Without doubt, this book will raise many questions, send students off to do research, and provide fodder (sorry!) for broad-ranging discussions. A reasonably good set of references completes the volume. Recommended, Grades 7-12. REVIEWER:Yvonne Heather Burry
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531114117
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Series: Single Titles Ser.
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.03 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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