Synopses & Reviews
A Pollan-esque look at the truth about wheat: meal or menace?
No topic in nutrition is more controversial than wheat. While mega-sellers like Grain Brain and Wheat Belly suggest that wheat may be the new asbestos, Stephen Yafa finds that it has been wrongly demonized. His revealing book sets the record straight, breaking down the botany of the wheat plant weve hijacked for our own use, the science of nutrition and digestion, the effects of mass production on our health, and questions about gluten and fiber all to point us towards a better, richer diet.
Wheat may be the most important food in human history, reaching from ancient times to General Mills. Yafa tours commercial factories where the needs of mass production trump the primacy of nutrition, and reports on the artisan grain revolution. From a Woodstock-like Kneading Conference to nutrition labs to a boutique bakery and pasta makers workshop in Brooklyn, he also finds that there may in fact be a perfect source of wheat-based nutrition. Its name is sourdough.
For readers of Salt Sugar Fat and The Omnivore's Dilemma, Grain of Truth smoothly blends science, history, biology, economics, and nutrition to give us back our daily bread.
"I have to hand it to Mr. Yafa. Cotton
rules."andnbsp;andmdash;The Wall Street Journal
"With wit and intelligence, Yafa demonstrates how a good deal of history can be learned by following a single thread."andnbsp;andmdash;The Washington Post
"A comprehensive and often surprising history and#91;of a crop that changed the worldand#93;."andnbsp;andnbsp;andmdash;USA Today
Ranging from its domestication 5,500 years ago to its influence in creating fashion empires, this volume is a detailed look at the plant that fooled Columbus into thinking he'd reached India, that helped start the Industrial Revolution and the American Civil War, and made one bug--the boll weevil--world famous.
In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky's Cod and Salt, this endlessly revealing book reminds us that the fiber we think of as ordinary is the world's most powerful cash crop, and that it has shaped the destiny of nations. Ranging from its domestication 5,500 years ago to its influence in creating Calvin Klein's empire and the Gap, Stephen Yafa's Cotton gives us an intimate look at the plant that fooled Columbus into thinking he'd reached India, that helped start the Industrial Revolution as well as the American Civil War, and that made at least one bugandmdash;the boll weevilandmdash;world famous. A sweeping chronicle of ingenuity, greed,and#160; conflict, and opportunism, Cotton offers "a barrage of fascinating information" (Los Angeles Times).
About the Author
STEPHEN YAFA, the author of Cotton: The Biography of a Revolutionary Fiber, is also a novelist, playwright, and award-winning screenwriter. He has written for Playboy, Details, and Rolling Stone, and lives in Mill Valley, California.
Table of Contents
1. Spun in All Directions 9
2. Star Turns 25
3. The Barber from Preston 39
4. Revolutionary Fiber 70
5. Camelot on the Merrimack 91
6. Looming Conflicts 118
7. Southern Exposure 147
8. Changing Fortunes 173
9. Two-Horse Power 202
10. Boll Weevil Blues 233
11. The Shirt on Your Back 270
12. Fields of Conflict 305