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Bookreview: A movable feast: ten millennia of food globalization. By Kenneth F. Kiple. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007. xvi + 364 pp. £15.99 hardback. ISBN 9780521793537


Hallett, Lucius


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Abstract 520BookreviewAmovable feast: ten millennia of food globalization. By Kenneth F. Kiple. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. 2007. xvi + 364 pp. £15.99 hardback. ISBN 9780521793537SAGE Publications, Inc.2008DOI: 10.1177/14744740080150040703LuciusHallettUniversity of WyomingBasedlargely upon the author's The Cambridge world history of food (2000), thisbook offers an overview of the interaction between the world and the foodswe currently consume. Reviewing the history of domestication, sedentism, powerover resources, and trade, `the glob- alization of foodstuffs' suggests thatour world has been integrated since the beginnings of the Neolithic. The storyof our foods is one where all aspects of history can be examined. Perhapsthe best example is the expansion of the Portuguese along the African coastand Columbus' voyages across the Atlantic: `The New Worlds they reached tolink with the Old brought food globalization on a cataclysmic scale' (p. 104).This led to what Thomas McKeown called the `modern rise of population', becauseof the infusion of higher-caloric521foodsinto famine-stressed populations led to improved nutrition, increased infantand child life expectancy, and protection against the ravages of infectiousdiseases. The author tackles a number of subjects that directly relate tothe development of agri- culture: chronic malnutrition, famine, globalization,and the homogenization of culture. Much is made of the loss of overall healthas a consequence of the move towards settled agricul- ture and reliance uponmono-cropping. The author suggests that diseases such as rickets, scurvy,and incidences of anemia, dental caries, and knobby joints do not seem tobe indi- cated in our hunter-gatherer ancestors but begin to appear in archivalrecords from Greek and Roman sources writing about the known cultures of thatera. Kiple states that our ances- tors were significantly taller than thefollowing agrarians; similarly, American Revolutionary soldiers were largerthen their European opponents, indicating more protein in their diets. Thisbook joins with those of Charles Mann, 1491, and Jarrod Diamond, Guns, germs,and steel, in examining the impacts of the new world upon the old. The authorstates that the `Columbian Exchange,' touted as revolutionizing the world,did so by reversing the evolutionary trend to diversify: that it rather rearrangedfood around the world. This globalizing of our foods, fueled by immigrationand the industrial revolution, `ushered in the modern world' (p. 162). Althoughfood geographers may consider this book a primer reader best suited to anintro- ductory course, the bibliography is extensive and well researched,the writing fluid, and the themes well expressed and thoroughly explored.
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Seitenangabe S. 520-521
Zeitschriftentitel Cultural Geographies, 15 (2008) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14744740080150040703
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)