An award-winning historian makes the case for food’s cultural importance, stressing its crucial role throughout human history
Why does food matter? Historically, food has not always been considered a serious subject on par with, for instance, a performance art like opera or a humanities discipline like philosophy. Necessity, ubiquity, and repetition contribute to the apparent banality of food, but these attributes don’t capture food’s emotional and cultural range, from the quotidian to the exquisite.
In this short, passionate audiobook, Paul Freedman makes the case for food’s vital importance, stressing its crucial role in the evolution of human identity and human civilizations. Freedman presents a highly readable and illuminating account of food’s unique role in our lives, a way of expressing community and celebration, but also divisive with regard to race, cultural difference, gender, and geography. This wide-ranging book will be a must-read for food lovers and all those interested in how cultures and identities are formed and maintained.
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“Highly entertaining and critically astute, Why Food Matters is a serious look at the evolution of the language of food. We have to turn to history to understand how we want food to look like in the future. Paul Freedman’s brilliant telling of historical and contemporary foodways—their successes and failures—provides many laugh-out-loud, shaking head, lightbulb, and aha! moments.”
Elizabeth Falkner, chef and creative director, ChEF Productions