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.
As for animal flesh, some members of the priestly Brahman caste reject it entirely;
but most Brahmans eat either eggs, poultry, or fish in addition to copious
quantities of milk and dairy products. Brahmans, at any rate, constitute a small
The Vedas neither spurned beef nor protected the cow. In fact in Vedic times the
Brahman caste's religious duties centered not on protecting cows but on
slaughtering them. As I mentioned in the chapter before this, the Vedas were one
of the ...
I cannot say precisely how the Brahmans and Kshatriyas continued to obtain
cattle for their gluttonous feasts, but taxation, confiscation, or other coercive
measures would have been necessary once the peasants were unable or
Unwilling to ...
The account I have just given of the struggle between Hinduism and Brahmanism
was first pieced together by Rajandra Mitra, a great Sanskrit scholar of the late
nineteenth century. This is what he wrote in 1872: When the Brahmans had to ...
A royal edict issued by King Chandragupta II in A.D. 465 equated the crime of
killing a cow with the crime of killing a Brahman priest. This implies that there
were people who rejected both the ban on beef and the reverence for Brahmans.
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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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