Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Quest for Food

There are many books about eating, and a growing number on food. However, there are very few books that analyze why humans eat the way they do.

One of the few writers who make it his work to tackle this subject was Marvin Harris. I wrote a tribute to him and his books when he died. (The link for that other tribute site I mention on that page no longer works.) There have been few books since that emulated him.

While browsing at Amazon, though, I came across a new scientific text that looks to contain a fascinating look at the entire physiological and genetic processes of eating, from basic metabolism on up.

The book is The Quest for Food: A Natural History of Eating, by Harald Brüssow.

Book Description

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.

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.

The Table of Content - which goes on for six pages! - is a marvel of interest.

I'm not sure if I'll ever get to read it. The cover price is a staggering $119.00. I'm trying to convince myself that it is as essential as it sounds. The fact is that much of the rot that is published about milk, dairy allergy, lactose intolerance, and for that matter all other health matters stems from their authors having a totally inadequate understanding of how food and digestion works.

I'm talking myself into buying it. The sacrifices I make!

Bookmark and Share

No comments: