The Quest for Food
The Quest for Food: A Natural History of Eating is a collection of essays that surveys
eating through time, from the perspective of a biologist.
Hardcover 870 pp ISBN 9780387303345
The quest begins in prehistoric times with religion and the exploration of the connection between food and sex.
This leads to an investigation of the deep links between food and culture, exploring the basic question
of "what is eating?" The second section embarks on a biochemistry-oriented journey tracing the path
of a food molecule through the central carbon pathway until it is decomposed into CO2, H2O and ATP.
The third section delves into the evolution of eating systems, beginning with the elements of the primordial
soup through the birth of single cell organisms such as bacteria and archea. We
then follow this evolution in the fourth section through higher developed organisms:
from the first organisms in the ocean to the ones on land. The next two sections explore the stories
of food from an ecological, then behavioral viewpoint, leading the reader from animals to early hominids,
and into human history. The final section takes apart an anthropocentric view of the world by presenting
man as prey for the oldest predators: microbes. The text closes with an agronomical outlook on how
to feed the billions.
The goal of The Quest for Food is to catalyze discussions between scientists working in food science,
and those in biological and biomedical research.
Written for those with a strong scientific background, including biologists, MD€s, chemists, food
scientists, nutritionists, and agronomists
Chapter 1: A Nutritional Conditio Humana
- Chapter 2: Some Aspects of Nutritional Biochemistry
- Chapter 3: Bioenergetics
- Chapter 4: The Evolution of Eating Systems
- Chapter 5: The Ecology of Eating Systems
- Chapter 6: Eating Cultures
- Chapter 7: We as Food and Feeders
- Chapter 8: An Agro(-Eco)nomical Outlook: Feeding the Billions
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