Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them


Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Vintage Publishing
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Pages: 464 Language: English ISBN: 9781787331235 Categories: , , , , , , , , , Tag:

A captivating and unexpected journey through the history of humankind’s relationship with food, with an urgent message for our times. We live in an age of mass extinction. The earth’s biodiversity is decreasing at a faster rate than ever.

Industrial agriculture and the standardization of taste are not only wiping out many edible plants, but also the food cultures, histories and livelihoods that go with them. Inspired by a global project to collect and preserve foods that are at risk of extinction, Dan Saladino sets out to encounter these endangered foods. Each food tells a story – some of them moving and personal, some of them urgent and timely – and collectively they span the history of civilisation and touch on many of the biggest issues of our time, from climate change to global inequality.

From a humble pea found on an island on the south coast of America to a mysterious cheese found in the mountains of the Balkans, from the wild honey eaten for centuries by the nomadic tribes of Tanzania, to a rare citrus fruit in the mountain forests of India that is the genetic ancestor of all the world’s oranges, each ingredient transports us to a different time and place. Spanning the globe in his search for the most endangered foods, Dan Saladino takes us on a thrilling tour of a disappearing world, and reveals the battles being fought for the future of the planet.

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We all need to pay more attention to what we are (and are no longer) eating... Dan Saladino inspires us to believe that turning the tide is still possible. -- Yotam Ottolenghi A rallying cry to us all to protect the world's diversity before it's too late. But this is also a book filled with optimism; it captures the energy of a global movement of people dedicating their lives to saving the plants, the animals, the flavours and the food knowledge we must preserve. -- Alice Waters For anyone interested in Darwin, world power, and life itself, read on. -- Cerys Matthews Dan Saladino's brilliant book answers the questions we forgot to ask, and highlights the incredible diversity we stand to lose. A genuine masterpiece and a call to arms. Everyone who loves food and cooking should read this. -- Gill Meller This inspiring and urgent book is one of the few food books that has ever given me goosebumps... A love letter to the huge diversity of foods enjoyed by human beings, but it is also a call to arms to preserve that diversity and strangeness against the onslaught of a globalised industrial food system... It is a story full of both loss and hope. -- Bee Wilson Dan Saladino writes about global food culture as urgently and compellingly as he broadcasts on The Food Programme. He makes a brilliant case that the diversity of our food culture is inextricably linked to the biodiversity of our environment, and therefore the future of our food IS the future of our planet. -- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall A fascinating journey across the fast disappearing diversity of our foods, which we ignore at our peril - a brilliant read. -- Tim Spector An inspiring account of endangered foods and food cultures across the planet. Everyone who cares about what they eat will want to know its stories. -- Harold McGee This is a poignant and urgent read, it gets to the heart of storytelling because its threads the one thing that connects us all, our relationships to food... Dip into this book immediately, just don't do it on an empty stomach. -- Alys Fowler A real attention-grabber, an exceptionally wide-ranging, informative clarion call... As much an inspiring guide to the pioneering individuals, indigenous groups, scientists, and food producers who are championing the world's rich food heritage, as a warning about what threatens it. -- Joanna Blythman * BBC Good Food Magazine * I love this book, not only is it a treasure trove of knowledge, stories and ideas, it's a call to us all to save foods, flavours and our diversity. It's important and timely. I wish the whole world could read it. -- Raymond Blanc [An] excellent and valuable book. -- Colin Tudge * Literary Review * How lucky we are that Dan Saladino has been able to tell these stories... This is the most important book about food that I have read for a long time... Beautifully written and without hyperbole. -- Stephen Harris A feast of research and information [and] a digestible collection of beautiful stories... A very important book. -- Valentine Warner Essential reading for those with a profound interest in the culture, history and anthropology of what, how and why we eat. It's completely absorbing, enlightening and a necessary addition to every bookshelf. -- Richard Corrigan This is an enthralling tour of some the world's most endangered foods... Saladino marshals a galvanising array of evidence for what we stand to lose -- Caroline Sanderson * The Bookseller * Packed with breathtaking facts... Saladino moves seamlessly from the the personal... Let's hope that Eating to Extinction can change the world. -- Antonia Windsor * Mail on Sunday * Eating to Extinction operates on a parallel time scales, as a polemic on the urgent need for action on agricultural diversity, and as a deeply researched, if accessible, history of food and drink production... Its satisfactions come from Saladino's ear for a human story and the breadth of the landscapes, and ecosystems, it covers... Saladino's study is immersive, evocative on a planetary scale, and appropriately so if we are to consider how best to protect the planet's resources. -- Niki Segnit * Times Literary Supplement * Packed full of knowledge about a host of ingredients that you probably didn't even know existed, Eating to Extinction captures the urgency (and cost) of heading towards a future that is less nutritionally diverse. -- Gege Li * New Scientist * Saladino offers many wonderful vignettes of indigenous food cultures. * Economist *

Author Biography

Dan Saladino is a journalist and broadcaster. He makes programmes about food for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. His work has been recognised by the Guild of Food Writers Awards, the Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards, and in America by the James Beard Foundation. Eating to Extinction was awarded the 2019 Jane Grigson Trust Award. He lives in Cheltenham but his roots are Sicilian.

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