Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft and Merry White

Dec 17, 2023

Ways of Eating

Exploring Food Through History and Culture

University of California Press 2023

What we learn when an anthropologist and a historian talk about food.

From the origins of agriculture to contemporary debates over culinary authenticity, Ways of Eating: Exploring Food Through History and Culture (U California Press, 2023) introduces readers to world food history and food anthropology. Through engaging stories and historical deep dives, Benjamin A. Wurgaft and Merry I. White offer new ways to understand food in relation to its natural and cultural histories and the social rules that shape our meals.

Wurgaft and White use vivid storytelling to bring food practices to life, weaving stories of Panamanian coffee growers, medieval women beer makers, and Japanese knife forgers. From the Venetian spice trade to the Columbian Exchange, from Roman garum to Vietnamese nớc chấm, Ways of Eating provides an absorbing account of world food history and anthropology. Migration, politics, and the dynamics of group identity all shape what we eat, and we can learn to trace these social forces from the plate to the kitchen, the factory, and the field.

Kelly Spivey is a writer and documentarian.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Kelly Spivey

Kelly Spivey is a writer and documentarian.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Kelly Spivey