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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In 1981 the government announced a 20 percent cut in subsidized meat rations
and then had to declare martial law to restore order. “The patience of the
housewife has snapped,” a correspondent for The Economist reported. “Used to
For the moment, all I need to say is that less than 1 percent of the world's
population voluntarily spurns every type of flesh food, and less than one-tenth of
1 percent are bona fide vegans. Involuntary rather than voluntary abstinence ...
Between 15 percent and 40 percent by weight of cooked meat, fish, fowl, and milk
solids consists of proteins. In contrast, the protein content of cooked cereals
ranges from about 2.5 percent to 10 percent. Cooked legumes—beans, peanuts,
Taking into account their relative digestibility once they get into the human gut,
the quality of most animal proteins can be said to be about 25 percent to 50
percent higher than the best proteinaceous plant foods such as legumes, wheat,
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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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