Food: A Very Short Introduction

Food: A Very Short Introduction

In this Very Short Introduction, Prof Lord John Krebs provides a brief history of human food, from our remote ancestors 3 million years ago to the present day. By looking at the four great transitions in human food – cooking, agriculture, processing, and preservation – he considers a variety of questions, including why people like some kinds of foods and not others; how your senses contribute to flavor; the role of genetics in our likes and dislikes; and the differences in learning and culture around the world.

In turn he considers aspects of diet, nutrition, and health, and the disparity between malnutrition in some places and overconsumption in others. Finally, he considers some of the big issues – the obesity crisis, sustainable agriculture, the role of new technologies such as genetic modification of crops, and ends by posing the question: how will it be possible to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, without destroying our natural environment?

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