A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization

Author(s): Kenneth F. Kiple

economics politics business

This book, based largely on the Cambridge World History of Food, provides a look at the globalization of food from the days of the hunter-gatherers to present-day genetically modified plants and animals. The establishment of agriculture and the domestication of animals in Eurasia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas are all treated in some detail along with the subsequent diffusion of farming cultures through the activities of monks, missionaries, migrants, imperialists, explorers, traders, and raiders. Much attention is given to the 'Columbian Exchange' of plants and animals that brought revolutionary demographic change to every corner of the planet and led ultimately to the European occupation of Australia and New Zealand as well as the rest of Oceania. Final chapters deal with the impact of industrialization on food production, processing, and distribution, and modern-day food-related problems ranging from famine to obesity to genetically modified food to fast food.


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'... brimming with curious titbits: the use of cocoa beans as currency; the accidental domestication of rye, oats and various legumes after they hitched a ride with wheat and barley; Coca-Cola's origins as a health tonic. Anyone interested in the history of food for whom The Cambridge World History of Food seems too large a helping will find Mr Kiple's sprightly summary volume far more palatable.' The Economist '... it is a pleasure to see this offspring volume, written by one of [Cambridge World History of Food]'s coeditors, providing readers with a rich taste of the larger volume's delights, but at a manageable size and price. ... The whole experience of reading the book is rather like being absorbed in an animated and engaging dinner party conversation. The talk never ceases to be interesting...' The Historian

Kiple was born on January 29, 1939. His father was in the Royal Air Force which meant much moving during and after the war. He did his undergraduate work at the University of South Florida, and earned a PhD in Latin American History and a PhD certificate in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. He has taught at Bowling Green since 1970 and became a Distinguished University Professor in 1994. His research interests have included biological history applied to slave trade and slavery, the history of disease, and more recently, food and nutrition. He is the author of approximately 50 articles and chapters, three monographs, and the editor of five edited volumes including the Cambridge World History of Disease, and (with K.C. Ornelas) The Cambridge World History of Food, in two volumes. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and received other grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine, the National Endowments for the Humanities, Tools Division, and two HEH Fellowships, the Earhart Foundation. the Milbank Memorial Fund, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockefeller Archives, the American Philosophical Society, The Social Sciences Research Council and Fulbright-Hays.

Preface: A movable feast: ten millennia of food globalization; Introduction: from foraging to farming; 1. Last hunters, first farmers; 2. Building the barnyard; 3. Promiscuous plants of the northern fertile crescent; 4. Peripatetic plants of Eastern Asia; 5. Fecund fringes of the northern fertile crescent; 6. Consequences of the Neolithic; 7. Enterprise and empires; 8. Faith and foodstuffs; 9. Empires in the rubble of Rome; 10. Medieval progress and poverty; 11. Spain's New World, the Northern Hemisphere; 12. New world, new foods; 13. New foods in the Southern New World; 14. The Columbian exchange and the Old Worlds; 15. The Columbian exchange and the New Worlds; 16. Sugar and new beverages; 17. Kitchen Hispanization; 18. Producing plenty in paradise; 19. The frontiers of foreign foods; 20. Capitalism, colonialism, and cuisine; 21. Homemade food homogeneity; 22. Notions of nutrients and nutriments; 23. The perils of plenty; 24. The globalization of plenty; 25. Fast food, a hymn to cellulite; 26. Parlous plenty into the twenty-first century; 27. People and plenty in the twenty-first century.

General Fields

  • : 9781107657458
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : July 2013
  • : United Kingdom
  • : August 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Kenneth F. Kiple
  • : Paperback
  • : 641.3009