Food in History

 by Reay Tannahill

Published by Eyre Methuen in 1973 this is a great resource if you are interested in the history of food, almost from the beginning of civilisation.  What is particularly refreshing about this book is the broad view taken on the history of food, it is not restricted to Europe. There are sections which are quite revealing about our current time, the question is posed in the book "What kind, what quantity of food will the 7,000,000,000 people in the year A.D. 2007 want?"  which is fascinating, as we have passed this population milestone only recently.  The 1988 revised edition of the book also discusses Genetically Modified Food, which is of relevance to modern food crises.  There is undeniably some information that was improved in the revised addition, however the overall broad information on food history in this edition is compelling and easy to read for general background knowledge simply because it really is the first book of its kind.  If you can track down a copy I highly recommend it, Tannahill was a prolific and intelligent writer who published works of fiction as well as her histories on food , the history of sex and another on the cannibal complex.  She was an interesting and feisty lady who understood the thread of history that ties us all together, and that alone makes Tannahill of interest to me.