An Edible History of Humanity

Unlimited An Edible History of Humanity - by Tom Standage - An Edible History of Humanity, An Edible History of Humanity Throughout history food has done than simply provide sustenance It has acted as a tool of social transformation political organization geopolitical competition military conflict economic expansion

  • Title: An Edible History of Humanity
  • Author: Tom Standage
  • ISBN: 9781843546351
  • Page: 366
  • Format: Paperback

Unlimited An Edible History of Humanity - by Tom Standage, An Edible History of Humanity, Tom Standage, An Edible History of Humanity Throughout history food has done than simply provide sustenance It has acted as a tool of social transformation political organization geopolitical competition military conflict economic expansion This text is an account of these indirect uses of food which have helped to shape transform societies around the world Unlimited An Edible History of Humanity - by Tom Standage - An Edible History of Humanity, An Edible History of Humanity Throughout history food has done than simply provide sustenance It has acted as a tool of social transformation political organization geopolitical competition military conflict economic expansion

  • Unlimited An Edible History of Humanity - by Tom Standage
    366Tom Standage
An Edible History of Humanity

About "Tom Standage"

  1. Tom Standage

    Tom Standage is a journalist and author from England A graduate of Oxford University, he has worked as a science and technology writer for The Guardian, as the business editor at The Economist, has been published in Wired, The New York Times, and The Daily Telegraph, and has published five books, including The Victorian Internet 1 2 This book explores the historical development of the telegraph and the social ramifications associated with this development Tom Standage also proposes that if Victorians from the 1800s were to be around today, they would be far from impressed with present Internet capabilities This is because the development of the telegraph essentially mirrored the development of the Internet Both technologies can be seen to have largely impacted the speed and transmission of information and both were widely criticised by some, due to their perceived negative consequences.Standage has taken part in various key media events He recently participated in ictQATAR s Media Connected forum for journalists in Qatar, where he discussed the concept of technology journalism around the world and how technology is expected to keep transforming the world of journalism in the Middle East and all around the world.


  1. The blurb summarizes this book perfectly Tom Standage can be relied upon to do comprehensive research for his non fiction books This book explains the history of mass produced food, sedentism, the disappearance of the hunter gatherer lifestyle, the use of food as weapons, or forms of power, from the earliest records available throughout the world The period spans from thousands of years before Christ until now The establishment of civilizations occurred when humans reconfigured, or modified plan [...]

  2. I didn t keep notes throughout this book, but I should have Standage did a great job showing various trends throughout history which made the last quarter about current times make far sense This is a high level look at food in general, some specific species populations, but still distant That was good for the purposes of the book, but I hope readers think about what these distant descriptions mean in reality.Malnutrition leading to infant mortality, shorter stature, susceptibility to disease ar [...]

  3. I ll start by admitting that I gave up on this piece of trash half way through the audiobook After 5 hours of horrid narration I did not hear a single fact that was news to me, nor even an interesting interpretation of known facts The writing is disjointed, and meaningless extra words and phrases are thrown in so that the whole thing comes across as a first year history student s lazy attempt to meet the word count requirements for his assignment The author also editorializes in random, bizarre [...]

  4. This book SUCKS How do you give an edible history of humanity without talking in depth about SLAVERY and THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN FOOD PRODUCTION that was my first reaction It would be accurate if he called the book, An Edible History of European Humanity The Only Humanity Worth Noting or An Edible Ignorance of the Dehumanization of Most of Humanity The only time he tries to speak for the lower classes is when he s railing against communism I also noted very early on that Standage is pro biotech [...]

  5. Standage looks at food from a geopolitical, anthropological and ethical point of view The book is mainly about how food and agriculture have changed and keep changing history and development of humankind.I didn t find absolutely everything of interest to me there for example, I have read about spices and their role in the progress of mankind a countless number of times by now But there was enough other information to make it for a worthwhile read.Here are some tidbits of what I found interesting [...]

  6. An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage An Edible History of Humanity is the interesting history of the world through the transformative role of food Science correspondent and accomplished author Tom Standage follows up his best seller A History of the World in 6 Glasses with another appealing book but this time it s about the intersections between food history and world history This informative 288 page book is broken out by the following six parts 1 The Edible Foundations of Civilization [...]

  7. This book isn t really about eating food It s not about tasting food or cooking food An Edible History of Humanity is about food s place in world history the roles it has filled, the drama that has sometimes surrounded it and the absolute necessity for our world to deal with it on a daily basis.We start at the beginning, learning about hunter gatherers and the transition to farming based agriculture Food is discussed as a major reason why the world started being explored by countries that could [...]

  8. No, it s not comprehensive as the intro states, it selectively covers pivotal intersections.Yes, it does indeed talk about slavery.No, though it was published in 2009, much of it was clearly written a decade or earlier, with only some new information.Some interpretations conclusions are problematic, a few are just wrong.Mostly it s engaging, interesting, but insufficient 3.5 stars because I m glad I read it and do recommend it to those of you interested, but rounded down because it s just not a [...]

  9. An interesting look at food and history From prehistoric times, to how farming lead to the rise of cities and social hierachies, to the desire for spices leading to exploration, to the Berlin food drops This book is a snapshot of the effects that food, both shortages and surpluses, have on human history.A fascinating read for anyone interested in social history Or food Or both.

  10. A book about how the foods people eat have affected the development of human civilization There aren t really any new ideas here, and compared to a book such as Charles Mann s 1493 , for instance about the exchange of species between the Old World and the New, and its sometimes catastrophic effects Standage s effort is rather lightweight The book is not nearly comprehensive the author focuses mainly on the development of the major cereal grains maize, wheat, rice , plus potatoes and spices fruit [...]

  11. Well, it s hard for me to rate and review this book And, I did read it when I was having a hard time reading and was probably in the mood for a good novel But I love this subject matter I ve read other history of foodstuffs books and I am fascinated.This book felt confusing because on the one hand it seemed to try to be comprehensive, a complete history up to a possible future, yet so much was left out The information that was provided was for the most part fascinating and I did learn a lot, th [...]

  12. Standage, who is the business editor at the Economist, has done a credible job of surveying the influence of food on human history His overview of theories on the origin of agriculture is a bit light, but his treatment of improved methods of food production as a technological breakthrough that directly assisted industrialization is interesting Also interesting is his analysis of the spice trade and the Columbian exchange It is in his writing about the green revolution, biotechnology, organic far [...]

  13. This is really a history book showing how food in general has shaped world history This is one of those rare books that presents facts many would have learned in school and showing connections that you did not realize were there This book changed my view of some key events in European history This book is deceiving in that it promotes deep thinking about certain events The book is a bit rambling in places and that led me to only give 4 stars.

  14. I won this book on GoodReads At the risk of never again winning a book on GoodReads, I can not, in good conscience, recommend this book to anyone.Aside from being poorly written, this book annoyed me to the point of wanting to put it through the shredder and dump it into my compost pile, to later use in my pesticide free garden.Apparently, the answer to the problem of industrialized food problems, food crisis, and overpopulation, is to create debt for farmers, create and better genetically mod [...]

  15. Interesting, but not mind blowing The first half of the book felt like very familiar ground not much that you wouldn t find in a Michael Pollan book or in your middle school history classes The section on spices was better, but it wasn t until the section on food as a weapon that I found myself really intrigued That section covers a lot of things I felt I SHOULD have already known, but didn t, and I was pretty horrified by it I d never actually read a book that traced major changes in human hist [...]

  16. I ve learned a lot of variations of history but never encountered one through a food lense It s a very objective and straightforward layout of food history and how it shaped human history It might be too straighforward for some and therefore upsetting But you just have to digest all this information Anyway, it definitely broadened my horizons and you don t have to agree with the author but it s a valuable information.

  17. It s an interesting book, but definitely nothing I haven t read in other books about food history And after reading the amazing piece of work that is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this one felt lackluster And I know there is a lot of debate on Standage s claim that genetically modified food is the way of the future For me, the thesis chapter felt out of place when the rest of the book relied on historical context.

  18. I won this book as a First Reads Give Away An Edible History of Humanity was an intriguing title For me it held the promise of using food as a way of approaching world history I thought of other books which have used salt, or some other seemingly mundane item, to provide a different perspective of human connections, exchanges, and developments While the author of this book may have had a similar goal, his approach is so general and over reaching, that his analysis holds very little substance for [...]

  19. An Edible History of Humanity was sort of entertaining, as it contains lots of colorful anecdotes, but much of it felt like a less substantive and very derivative version of Pollan s Omnivore s Dilemna cf the discussion of corn Moreover, I came away feeling like behind his pseudo intellectualism, Standage is either really ignorant, or sort of a schmuck His political beliefs, when they show through, are disturbing.For example, Standage describes several instances of famines in which the native co [...]

  20. This is not a bad book, merely an unnecessary one Standage must have realized this, as he begins with a justification for the book While it is true that this book provides a broader historical treatment of agriculture than anything I have read before, most of the material is familiar Nor do we get a radical new interpretation of food Standage starts with the conventional wisdom that agriculture is the basis of civilization and ends with a call for a new green revolution As I said, it s not a ter [...]

  21. Tom Standage s AN EDIBLE HISTORY OF HUMANITY is exactly that it is a digestible broad account of humanity through the scope of food The book is broken up into sections that explain how time and again food changed the face of humanity For example food is credited with civilization, exploration, and industrialization Since humans have to eat, this book not only explores the evolution of food, but also how food helped evolve culture Standage is particularly apt at explaining terms, and theories so [...]

  22. This book is a survey of human history from the vantage point of our relationship with food, and covers a broad span of time, from the beginnings of agriculture to modern debates around food such as genetically modified organisms and local eating.Most fascinating to me were some of the connections between a degradation of health as seen in the archaelogical record when humans began settling into communities and depending on farmed foods rather than the hunter gatherer procurement strategies, and [...]

  23. I really liked this one I highly recommend it to anyone, and especially to anyone with a highly polarized view of issues like GMOs, organic farming, and chemical fertilization I don t expect it to sway anyone s opinion dramatically, but it s a good reminder of how none of these issues are simple I felt that Standage did an excellent job of presenting the facts and theories, without pushing a political agenda, and without using the sensationalist language that usually surround such heavy topics.T [...]

  24. Not a bad read, but not really to my tastes This is very much macrohistory, since it attempts to cover the entire history of humanity through food in just under 250 pages My tastes in history books usually runs towards microhistory Other topics I ve enjoyed reading histories of gin, curry, milk, the color blue, and striped cloth Basically, the author tries to cover huge spans of time with a few sweeping statements, over and over There s no other way to write what he intended, though If you re in [...]

  25. This was an ideal book for me to read Discussions of food, world history, and real world sciences The writing is clear, chronological, and comprehensive It is imperative that anyone who is unsure, ignorant, or afraid of genetically modified organisms GMOs read this book cover to cover, to truly understand the biochemical impact agriculture had on this earth for thousands of years all in the name of humanity s survival It s not organic OR GMOs it must be the most scientifically supported and effi [...]

  26. A very engaging yet educational sweep of history through the lens of food The balance of power has often been based on a simple access to basic foods, and this remains true today The author is an editor of the Economist and keeps the big picture in mind while enthralling us with many historical anecdotes Similar to his other work A History of the World in 6 glasses which looks at history through the lens of 6 drinks and equally recommended

  27. Food is, hands down, one of my favorite topics I love eating food, and I also love cooking it as long as I don t have to stand over spattering oil, of course As a child I was a very picky eater, but over the years I ve gotten rid of that habit, and when I go out with my friends and family nowadays I m open to trying things out than I was before I m also a firm believer in the idea that one of the fastest ways to understand a culture is to understand and eat their food.Filipino food is a great e [...]

  28. A good overview of the importance of food throughout history it s a decent look over recent food history as well as ancient, and thus brevity is occasionally utilized when in depth approach would be desirable.

  29. After an engaging opening that recounts the gradual co evolution of man and maize something that I, like many, had read before but was nonetheless interested in reading again as a first step into Standage s book I was a bit let down by the first chapter And things just kept rolling down hill from there While I appreciate the unique lens the author was attempting to view history through, the book has severe problems Chief among them is Standage s adoption of the very simple, often reductive prose [...]

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