||Food and drink
by LORRAINE JOHNSON
Absolutelly nothing is intrinsically boring, least of all the everyday ordinary thugs." Take corn on the cob, chicken, nee, lettuce, and ice cream, for example. Harmless enough, straightforward, even comforting, foods. But what a wealth of history and culture lurk on our plates. Margaret Visser has used these foods as a starting point for one of the most memorable meals imaginable: a feast of social, cultural, anthropological, biological, and technological information that delves into what this meal reveals about our tastes, priorities, mythologies, and limitations.
This is an endlessly fascinating book, with lively and committed writing to intrigue even those who can't imagine reading a whole chapter about salt. And Visser tackles the hidden, often neglected aspects of food production and consumption: factory farming of animals, the social ramifications of big-business agriculture, the use of pesticides, developments in plant genetics. Such controversial subjects are not usual gastronomic fare, but how soberly they balance the diet.
I hope that Visser is cooking up more delights for her readers, and that we will all be invited to feast at her table again.