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January 07, 2006


In an earlier post we talked about our great reference books on the culture of food. Here are some treats from the circulating collection.

394.1 NABHAN Why some like it hot : food, genes, and cultural diversity by ethnobiologist Gary Paul Nabhan (MacArthur Fellow and Pew Scholar). How human populations evolve, culturally and biologically, in synchrony with their available foodstuffs. And yes, hot stuff does help kill microbes in meat.

394.1 MINTZ Tasting food, tasting freedom : excursions into eating, culture, and the past by Sidney Mintz, a Johns Hopkins anthropologist. Essays include "Food and its relationship to power" and "Sugar and Morality" - don't skip the footnotes.

And for after dinner (or before, during and after if you are Midwestern)
394.12 PENDERG Uncommon grounds : the history of coffee and how it transformed our world by Mark Pendergrast, a reporter. Coffee debates involve not just matters of flavor (robusta vs. arabica) but also morality - from health concerns to current questions about the economics and methods of culture.

Sample? p.101 "The fact that Post himself continued to drink the evil brew did not soften his attacks on coffee. According to his daughter, Marjorie, Post would drink coffee 'for a few days and be sick, and he'd drink Postum for a few days and be well, and then he'd go back to coffee."

see also: The fair trade movement; National Geographic on coffee; more coffee geography; list of migratory birds that frequent shade coffee farms (includes the Baltimore Oriole, our own state bird).

Posted by library at January 7, 2006 05:07 PM