193 pages, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
The history of humankind is intimately tied to the history of agriculture: powerful societies rose, persisted and waned in parallel with their food supply systems. Describing what crops were grown, the constraints on their production and the foods that were obtained, this book traces the impact of cropping and food preparation in ten societies that were among the most powerful and influential in history, detailing how technology varied and developed as it related directly to agriculture and food production.
The book covers the background of agricultural development, early agricultural societies, and the advancement of technology from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the present. It finishes by addressing the implications for the future of agriculture and food supply as grain production moves towards biofuels. A compelling text for all those interested in the history of society and civilisations, global agriculture, and what it means for the future, this text is also an essential reference for students of agriculture, food technology, history and anthropology.
This stimulating and easy to read book should appeal to a general readership, including agriculturalists, anthropologists, historians and food technologists.
- Journal of Experimental Agriculture
"'Bread, Beer and the Seeds of Change' makes a convincing and highly enjoyable case for fermentation as a key player in the history of agriculture. This fascinating book will change the way you think about the process and prospects for food production. Indeed, I know of no other book that so clearly illustrates the power of agricultural productivity to influence human destiny."
- N. Michele Holbrook, Harvard University
"Couldn't put it down ... I'm amazed at the information ... and how [the authors] pulled it all together so nicely.""
Jerry Bennett, University of Florida
"[The book] offers exciting and novel insights that make for interesting reading. ... the role that 'bread and beer' played all over the world will draw the attention of an international audience."
- Larry Purcell, University of Arkansas
"A welcome and timely contribution to the growing public discussion of the role of food in our lives. Historically informative and thoroughly engaging."
- Fred Gregory, University of Florida, Patricia Gregory, Nutritionist
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