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.
My argument is that animal foods and plant foods play fundamentally different
biological roles in human foodways. Despite recent findings which link the
overconsumption of animal fats and cholesterol to degenerative diseases in
I do not see how it can be either arbitrary or coincidental that animal foods evoke
special behavior among so many human groups as well as among our ... First of
all, per cooked portion they are a better source of protein than most plant foods.
Nuts, peanuts, and soybeans are the only plant foods that are as proteinaceous
as meat, fish, fowl, and milk solids. But with the exception of soybeans, the quality
of the proteins in plant foods—including nuts and legumes—is significantly ...
Many plant foods as well as animal foods contain all ten of the essential amino
acids. But the problem is that the ratios in which they occur one to another limit
their ability to be converted into proteins. The ratios of essential amino acids in
is only because the plant foods in their diet are contaminated by insect residues
or by certain cobalt-digesting bacteria. This explains why when Hindu vegans
migrate from India to England they suffer an increase in the incidence of
What people are saying - Write a review
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
Dogs Cats Dingoes and Other Pets
Better to Eat