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1 Burnside Cooking and Food- Historical Food and Cooking

Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat

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Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Today the average meal has traveled thousands of miles before reaching the dinner table. How on earth did this happen? In fact, long-distance food is nothing new and, since the earliest times, the things we eat and drink have crossed countries and continents. Through delightful anecdotes and astonishing facts, Moveable Feasts tells their stories.

 

For the ancient Romans, the amphora---a torpedo-shaped pot that fitted snugly into the ships hold---was the answer to moving millions of tons of olive oil from Spain to Italy. Napoleon offered a reward to anyone who could devise a way of preserving and transporting food for soldiers. (What he got was the tin can.) Today temperature-controlled shipping containers allow companies to send their frozen salmon to China, where its thawed, filleted, refrozen, and sent back to the United States for sale in supermarkets as “fresh” Atlantic salmon.

 

Combining history, science, and politics, Financial Times writer Sarah Murray provides a fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary odysseys of food from farm to fork. She encounters everything from American grain falling from United Nations planes in Sudan to Mumbais tiffin men who, using only bicycles, carts, and their feet, deliver more than 170,000 lunches a day.

Following the items on a grocery store shopping list, Murray shows how the journeys of food have brought about seismic shifts in economics, politics, and even art. By flying food into Berlin during the 1948 airlift, the Allies kept a city of more than two million alive for more than a year and secured their first Cold War victory, appealing to German hearts and minds---and stomachs. In nineteenth-century Buffalo, the grain elevator (a giant mechanical scooping machine) not only turned the city into one of Americas wealthiest, but it also had a profound influence on modern architecture, giving Bauhaus designers an important source of inspiration.

 

In a thought-provoking and highly entertaining account, Moveable Feasts brings an entirely fresh perspective to the subject of food. And today, as global warming makes headlines and concerns mount about the “food miles” clocked by our dinners, Murray poses a contentious question: Is buying local always the most sustainable, ethical choice?

Review:

"Murray, a Financial Times contributor, takes a look at the literal journey of food through multilayered essays of the history of food transportation. From the banana export business of Central America (which was rife with America's economic gain and political manhandling) to the creation of the barrel (which revolutionized transcontinental trading and contributed a new dimension to the art of winemaking), the dozen chapters each start with a straightforward item — the shipping container, a tin can, a tub of yogurt, etc. — and delve into topics of greater significance like globalization, empire building, localized farming and food aid programs. For example, her essay on the amphora, a container used to carry olive oil throughout the ancient Roman Empire, not only depicts the social and economic importance of olive oil in Roman times but also leads into the contemporary debate of regional designation of origins for foods like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Newcastle brown ale. Erudite and thoroughly researched, this is a fascinating read for both foodies and those who love how the minutiae of life often provide a fresh lens with which to view the world." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"After decades of blissful ignorance, Americans have begun pondering how the food we consume each day arrives on our plates. Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' (2006) forced readers to face the fact that our demand for a range of reasonably priced meats and produce comes with serious environmental consequences. Now two new books, Ann Vileisis' 'Kitchen Literacy' and Sarah Murray's 'Moveable... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Today the things we eat and drink have crossed oceans, continents, and even airspace before reaching the dinner table. The complex systems and technologies devised throughout the centuries to deliver our food supply reveal surprising things about politics, culture, economies--and our appetites. In Mumbai, India's chaotic commercial capital, men use local trains, bicycles, and their feet to transport more than 170,000 lunches a day from housewives to their husbands, with almost no mix-ups. Modern shipping containers allow companies to send frozen salmon to China, where it can be cheaply thawed, filleted, and refrozen, before traveling back to the United States where it's sold in supermarkets as fresh fish. Moveable Feasts takes a novel look at the economics, logistics, and environmental impact of food, and brings new perspective to debates about where we get our meals.

About the Author

Sarah Murray is a travel writer and longtime Financial Times contributor who reports on the relationship of business to the environment. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312355357
Subtitle:
From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat
Author:
Murray, Sarah
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
HIS054000
Subject:
Food
Subject:
History
Subject:
International - General
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Food supply -- History.
Subject:
Food industry and trade -- History.
Subject:
General
Subject:
World
Subject:
General Transportation
Subject:
Industries - Agribusiness
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20071113
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 13 black-and-white illustration
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Food and Famine

Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312355357 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Murray, a Financial Times contributor, takes a look at the literal journey of food through multilayered essays of the history of food transportation. From the banana export business of Central America (which was rife with America's economic gain and political manhandling) to the creation of the barrel (which revolutionized transcontinental trading and contributed a new dimension to the art of winemaking), the dozen chapters each start with a straightforward item — the shipping container, a tin can, a tub of yogurt, etc. — and delve into topics of greater significance like globalization, empire building, localized farming and food aid programs. For example, her essay on the amphora, a container used to carry olive oil throughout the ancient Roman Empire, not only depicts the social and economic importance of olive oil in Roman times but also leads into the contemporary debate of regional designation of origins for foods like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Newcastle brown ale. Erudite and thoroughly researched, this is a fascinating read for both foodies and those who love how the minutiae of life often provide a fresh lens with which to view the world." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

Today the things we eat and drink have crossed oceans, continents, and even airspace before reaching the dinner table. The complex systems and technologies devised throughout the centuries to deliver our food supply reveal surprising things about politics, culture, economies--and our appetites. In Mumbai, India's chaotic commercial capital, men use local trains, bicycles, and their feet to transport more than 170,000 lunches a day from housewives to their husbands, with almost no mix-ups. Modern shipping containers allow companies to send frozen salmon to China, where it can be cheaply thawed, filleted, and refrozen, before traveling back to the United States where it's sold in supermarkets as fresh fish. Moveable Feasts takes a novel look at the economics, logistics, and environmental impact of food, and brings new perspective to debates about where we get our meals.

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