The World in Your Lunch Box: The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods


Discover the tasty stories behind the foods we love.

A ham sandwich on white bread. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut-butter-and-banana roll-ups. They may sound like ordinary items, but they take us on an amazing journey through the rich history and astonishing science of food.

Explore a week of lunches—from apples to pizza—by taking a romp through thousands of years of extraordinary events. Some are amusing, like ...

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Discover the tasty stories behind the foods we love.

A ham sandwich on white bread. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut-butter-and-banana roll-ups. They may sound like ordinary items, but they take us on an amazing journey through the rich history and astonishing science of food.

Explore a week of lunches—from apples to pizza—by taking a romp through thousands of years of extraordinary events. Some are amusing, like the accidental invention of potato chips. Others are tragic, such as the Spice Wars, which killed thousands of people.

Consider that ham sandwich: Ancient Romans first made ham by curing meat with salt and smoke to kill microbes, while yeast (which burps gas) produces the fluffy texture of bread.

Aztec farmers bred tomatoes from small, bitter berries into plump, sweet fruit, and watermelons sustained travelers 10,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert.

With a vibrant design and quirky illustrations, The World in Your Lunch Box is like the perfect lunch: satisfying, well-balanced, and totally delicious.

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Editorial Reviews
It's . . . interesting just how many foods are found in a week's worth of food, and how much history can be learned, and how many cultures are represented.
The book provides a veritable fridge-load of trivia that so delights young readers.
Booklist - Erin Anderson
This quirky offering reads like a diary of school lunches. Punctuated by silly jokes and colorful artwork, the book presents information on the historical implications of certain foods and the science behind what we eat.... Elevating the mundane into the realm of fascinating science and pop history, this book also offers a successful formula for encouraging students to enjoy nonfiction texts and to think a bit every time they open their lunch boxes.
Canadian Children's Book News - Sandra O'Brien
This book would make an excellent resource for anyone studying food and nutrition from the primary grades right up to high school.
ForeWord Reviews
A smart and savory feast sure to prompt discussion and debate among readers eight to twelve years.
Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal
Serve it on an otherwise boring summer afternoon, and this book becomes a treat kids will relish.
Quill and Quire - Cynthia O'Brien
Author Claire Eamer's delivery is friendly and witty, and Sa Boothroyd's spot-on, comical illustrations help make the text even more accessible.
Resource Links - Carolyn Cutt
Everyday foods become interesting subject matter, which should promote lively classroom discussions.
Tri-State Defender (Memphis) - Terri Schlichenmeyer
So you've got a growing gourmand in the house? Think you're raising the next Food Network superstar? Then make mealtime even better with The World in Your Lunch Box.
Foreword Reviews
Taste far-flung places on the globe just by opening your mouth. A smart and savory feast.
Science Magazine - Pamela J. Hines
School kids may never look at their lunches the same again.
Science Books and Films - Ellen R. Paterson
This is a delightful, fun, colorful, cleverly illustrated, and informative book about common foods and their global origins... The author covers the many variations and uses of ordinary foods, spices and herbs... She very effectively adds Q-and-A riddles, jokes, comical drawings, top ten favorite and unique facts... to enhance the enjoyment of the topic and text. Organized in the form of a daily Monday through Sunday lunch diary, the author provides extensive historical background along with stories... Very highly recommended for upper elementary through junior high; appropriate for multicultural curriculum and a wide range of classroom settings.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This book examines a week's worth of popular lunch foods such as hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, ham sandwiches, watermelon, ice cream, pizza, and more. The discussion of each one includes a little history alongside a little science. The cartoon illustrations, occasional joke, and lighthearted delivery keep it fun. For example, it is hard to believe, but mayonnaise can actually be kind of interesting. It was created out of "desperation": in 1756 the Duc de Richelieu's chef was making a sauce out of cream and substituted olive oil. Voilà! As the introduction promises, this title includes a lot of "exciting history, amazing science, and some very strange stories."—Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN
Kirkus Reviews
A week of lunches provides the menu for this exploration of food history and food science--from brown-bag specials to a perfect picnic. "[E]verything's interesting if you take the time to learn about it," says the cooking teacher, who challenges his students to keep a record of their lunches and research their backgrounds. This engaging effort proves his point. Eamer captures readers' attention with a satisfyingly gross account of a pair of Yukon travelers who survived on boiled and roasted sealskin-and–walrus-hide boots. After that, ham sandwiches, macaroni, hot dogs, egg salad, pizza, peanut-butter–and-banana spirals and fried chicken seem comfortingly familiar. The lunches described are usually well-balanced. From each, the author has chosen a selection of ingredients, providing examples of their use in history and offering appropriate science connections. Most topics are covered in a single page, enhanced by humorous, cartoon-styled drawings reminiscent of Quentin Blake, lively layout and plenty of color. "Lunch laughs"--corny jokes--add to the entertainment. The authorial tone is light, but there is a surprising amount of nourishment here. Ten favorite food facts conclude the narrative, but there are also suggestions for further reading, an extensive bibliography and even an index, making this useful for research as well. Delicious and nutritious. (Nonfiction. 9-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554513925
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Pages: 122
  • Sales rank: 811,276
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Claire Eamer lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, and has written several books on science and history for kids.

Sa Boothroyd is an illustrator who lives in Gibsons, British Columbia.

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