Read Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Evan D.G. Fraser Free Online
Book Title: Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations|
The author of the book: Evan D.G. Fraser
Date of issue: March 20th 2012
ISBN 13: 9781582437934
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.37 MB
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Using the colorful diaries of a sixteenth-century merchant as a narrative guide, Empires of Food vividly chronicles the fate of people and societies for the past 12,000 years through the foods they grew, hunted, traded, and ate—and offers fascinating, and devastating, insights into what to expect in years to come. In energetic prose, agricultural expert Evan D.G. Fraser and journalist Andrew capture the flavor of places as disparate as ancient Mesopotamia and imperial Britain, taking us from the first city in the once-thriving Fertile Crescent to today’s overworked breadbaskets and rice bowls in the United States and China.
Cities, culture, art, government, and religion were founded on the creation and exchange of food surpluses. Complex societies were built by shipping grain up rivers and into the stewpots of history’s generations. But evenutally, inevitably, the crops fail, the fields erode, or the temperature drops, and the center of power shifts. Cultures descend into dark ages of poverty, famine, and war.
A fascinating, fresh history told through the prism of the dining table, Empires of Food offers a grand scope and a provocative analysis of the world today, indispensable in this time of global warming and food crises.
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Read information about the authorMost of my professional work — which is either about analyzing data and writing papers for other academics or researching the history of food for popular books — comes out of my lifelong involvement with nature and the environment. This began in kindergarten, where I horrified teachers and amazed fellow students by bringing in pickled moose bits I had dissected with my naturalist father while accompanying him on summer field work. I followed this up as a teenager cleaning outhouses in national parks, and as an adult where I have dug soil pits in tidal swamps, collected tree samples by snowshoe in the dead of winter, climbed headfirst into bear dens (no bears there at the time), and did battle with fire ants in tropical jungles. I also spent formative summers working with my grandfather on a farm near Niagara Falls.
More formally, I have a somewhat diverse academic background. Initially, I studied anthropology and Celtic studies at the University of Toronto and focused on the Irish Potato Famine. I then studied forestry and looked at agro-forestry in the tropics. I eventually earned a doctorate from the University of British Columbia, where I wrote my dissertation on sustainable agriculture.
I’ve done a number of field work contracts, and these have taken me across the boreal forests of Ontario, the jungles of Central America, around the farmland of the Pacific West Coast, through urban Thailand, and into the Hills of Northern England. Currently, I do work with colleagues in Malawi, Ghana and Bangladesh as well as the UK and Canada.
All of these projects have involved looking closely at how we produce food, exploring the amazing stories of the people who work the land, and worrying about what climate change might do to the food we eat.
I have published approximately 45 scholarly research articles and book chapters on issues relating to sustainable agriculture, climate change, and "the food system." Links to these publications can be found at my personal website ( www.evandgfraser.com ). I’ve also written a number of policy briefs on environmental issues for senior Canadian politicians, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for the Environment, and the Prime Minister of Canada. I am part of the core team leading two of the United Kingdom’s key research projects on climate change, providing cutting-edge climate predictions and economic impact assessments that are commonly quoted in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. I receive regular invitations to lecture on these issues, and have recently spoken to audiences in Canada, France, Denmark, Austria, and Portugal, as well as to international audiences in Oxford, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, and Leeds.
Although I’m Canadian by upbringing, I have spent considerable time in the UK.
I work at both the University of Guelph (in Ontario) and the University of Leeds.
I am married and have three kids.