Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture
Why are human food habits so diverse? Why do Americans recoil at the thought of dog meat? Jews and Moslems, pork? Hindus, beef? Why do Asians abhor milk? In Good to Eat, best-selling author Marvin Harris leads readers on an informative detective adventure to solve the worlds major food puzzles. He explains the diversity of the worlds gastronomic customs, demonstrating that what appear at first glance to be irrational food tastes turn out really to have been shaped by practical, economic, or political necessity. In addition, his smart and spirited treatment sheds wisdom on such topics as why there has been an explosion in fast food, why history indicates that its bad to eat people but good to kill them, and why children universally reject spinach. Good to Eat is more than an intellectual adventure in food for thought. It is a highly readable, scientifically accurate, and fascinating work that demystifies the causes of myriad human cultural differences.
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Hindu foodways in this regard simply do not conform to popular stereotypes. In
India people delight in consuming as much milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt as
they can afford, and ghee, or clarified butter, is the preferred cooking fat in
In 1966, rioting by 125,000 nude cow-protectionists threatened to shut down the
Indian parliament in New Delhi, and in 1978, a Hindu leader, Acharaya Bhave,
provoked a national crisis by threatening to fast until Kerala and West Bengal 47
Hinduism is the dominant religion of India, and cattle worship and cattle
protection lie at the very heart of Hinduism. Few Westerners realize, for example,
that one of the reasons for the saintly reputation and mass appeal of Mohandas
Krishna, god of mercy and childhood, perhaps the most popular deity in India
today, describes himself in Hindu sacred literature as a cowherd, protector of
cows, who are his wealth. Hindus believe that everything that comes out of a cow
(or a ...
Hindu theologians put the number of gods and goddesses in a cow's body at 330
million. “Serving and praying to the cow will lead to Nirvana for 21 generations to
come.” To assist a departed loved one's soul in its journey to salvation, ...
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Good to eat: riddles of food and cultureUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Why are the world's food habits or "foodways,'' as Harris refers to them, so diverse? In this scholarly yet fast-paced and very readable work, anthropologist Harris argues that "major differences in ... Read full review
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