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Sacred Cow, Mad Cow - A History of Food Fears (Hardcover, American ed) Loot Price: R806
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Sacred Cow, Mad Cow - A History of Food Fears (Hardcover, American ed): Madeleine Ferrieres

Sacred Cow, Mad Cow - A History of Food Fears (Hardcover, American ed)

Madeleine Ferrieres; Translated by Jody Gladding

Series: Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History

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List price R917 Loot Price R806 Discovery Miles 8 060 | Repayment Terms: R74 pm x 12* You Save R111 (12%)

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An impressively researched addition to the Arts and Traditions of the Table series. French historian Ferrieres (Social History/Univ. of Avignon) has dug deep and wide in her exploration of anxieties about food: agricultural statistics, medical and veterinary journals, public health records, royal decrees, city and town ordinances and cookery manuals. Human fears about food, she notes, fall into two categories: concern about quantity and worry over quality. Her focus here is on the latter. Although she discusses Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, she gives the United States relatively short shrift, for Ferrieres's emphasis is on European, especially French, history. Her research turns up some fascinating facts, such as that in 14th-century Europe, horror of leprosy led to the erroneous belief that one could get it by consuming "leprous pork"; later, cabbage, cheese, beer and gamay grapes were also suspect. One bizarre tale involves a lawsuit in 1668 between Paris bakers and innkeepers in which bakery bread was alleged to be unhealthy because it was made with yeast; to settle the question, doctors weighed in, as did public prosecutors, judges, police and even parliament. European reactions-suspicion, aversion, phobia-of unfamiliar foods encountered in the New World are explored, as are some wild food rumors; e.g., English porter is made stronger than European beers by the addition of a skinned dog to the vat. She shows how food fears changed as industrialization distanced the consumer from the producer, examines the gap between scientific knowledge and political power in response to food risks and looks at the role of individual responsibility for food safety. A densely written, scholarly work, not especially accessible but filled with choice nuggets of food lore, culinary information and social history. (Kirkus Reviews)

Contemporary concerns about food such as those stemming from mad cow disease, salmonella, and other potential food-related dangers are hardly new-humans have long been wary of what they eat. Beyond the fundamental fear of hunger, societies have sought to protect themselves from rotten, impure, or unhealthy food. From the markets of medieval Europe to the slaughterhouses of twentieth-century Chicago, Madeleine Ferri?res traces the origins of present-day behavior toward what we eat as she explores the panics, myths, and ever-shifting attitudes regarding food and its safety. She demonstrates that food fears have been inspired not only by safety concerns but also by cultural, political, and religious prejudices.

Flour from human bones and p?t? from dead cats are just two of the more unappetizing recipes that have scared consumers away from certain foods. Ferri?res considers the roots of these and other rumors, illuminating how societies have assessed and attempted to regulate the risks of eating. She documents the bizarre and commonsensical attempts by European towns to ensure the quality of beef and pork, ranging from tighter controls on butchers to prohibiting Jews and menstruating women from handling meat. Examining the spread of Hungarian cattle disease, which ravaged the livestock of seventeenth-century Europe, Ferri?res recounts the development of safety methods that became the Western model for fighting animal diseases.

Ferri?res discusses a wealth of crucial and curious food-related incidents, trends, and beliefs, including European explorers' shocked responses to the foodways of the New World; how some foods deemed unsafe for the rich were seen as perfectly suitable for the poor; the potato's negative reputation; the fierce legal battles between seventeenth-century French bread bakers and innkeepers; the role of the medical profession in food regulation; and how modern consumerism changed the way we eat. Drawing on history, folklore, agriculture, and anthropology, Ferri?res tells us how our decisions about what "not" to eat reflect who we are.


Imprint: Columbia University Press
Country of origin: United States
Series: Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
Release date: November 2005
First published: November 2005
Authors: Madeleine Ferrieres
Translators: Jody Gladding
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 32mm (L x W x T)
Format: Hardcover - Trade binding
Pages: 416
Edition: American ed
ISBN-13: 978-0-231-13192-6
Languages: English
Subtitles: French
Categories: Books > Business & Economics > Industry & industrial studies > Primary industries > Agriculture & related industries
Books > Business & Economics > Industry & industrial studies > Manufacturing industries > Food manufacturing & related industries > General
LSN: 0-231-13192-5
Barcode: 9780231131926

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