This fascinating book is a cultural history of food. It’s really different from any other food history book I have read, in that it’s about the intertwining of food, human culture, and history. Rather than writing just about the domestication of livestock or just about the changing demographics of cities, for example, the author talked about the interaction between livestock domestication and shifts in human life.
Everything was covered, from the domestication of sales to the post-war food boom, in a really interesting, dynamic way. I kind of loved the fact that the author was totally open and transparent about his biases, although unfortunately one of his biases is a pronounced anti-fat attitude. But it’s kind of refreshing to read a book where the author isn’t even pretending to be neutral, and is just straight up discussing issues.
If you’re at all interested in human history and food, you should definitely take a gander at this book the next time you have a chance. There’s a lot of great stuff in here, and I would actually go so far as to say that I learned a lot reading this book. (For example, I wasn’t aware that snails were the first domesticated/farmed animal!)
I also really like the multicultural aspect of this book. It’s not a history of Western food and culture at all, it’s a history of food in general, and a look at many different cultures, and an examination of how and why various cuisines developed the way they did.
Near a Thousand Tables, by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto. Published 2002, 258 pages. Gastronomy/history.
To vote, that is. Well, are you? Today is the deadline to register to vote in California, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about voter registration, and one of the ways in which you might be prevented from voting. As I hope most of you are aware, county clerks routinely purge their voter rolls. The idea behind purging is that duplicate registrations, dead people, and so on can be removed from the list, ensuring the “one person, on vote” rule holds true.
However, as numerous news stories have shown, thousands of Americans are being illegally purged. Which is why you need to check your registration. Let me give you that link again: check your voter registration at VotePoke. It’s a very easy interface to use. Just enter your name and address, hit enter, and it will tell you if you are registered to vote.
If VotePoke thinks that you are not, it will show you how to re-register, or how to appeal a purging with your county clerk. Please, please, please pass this link on, especially to voters in swing states, since they are most at risk of being purged. People who have lost their homes due to foreclosure, minorities, and registered Democrats are most at risk of being purged in the swing states, so make sure that they don’t get left out of this critical election.
Deciding not to vote because you’re too cool and hip to participate in the democratic process is pretty lame. Not voting because you didn’t register is just stupid. Not being able to vote because you’ve been illegally removed from the voter rolls is terrifying, so please do not let it happen to you, or anyone you know. Or anyone you don’t know, for example. Let’s try and make this election as impossible to steal as possible, ok?
Election Protection is a large nonpartisan organization that, uh, protects voters. They are looking for volunteers on election day, for anyone who is interested, and they also have great general information for voters.
More Obama endorsements from: The Chicago Tribune, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Christopher Buckley, and Colin Powell.
Women and men are inherently unequal, at least in McCain/Palin Land.
Joe the Plumber, political tool extraordinaire, is showing his true colors by lashing out at the media. That evil, mean, awful, untruthful media! How dare they investigate his background after he willingly dragged himself into the national discourse!
Michele Bachman, the Minnesota Congresswoman who proposed that people in Congress be investigated for anti-American views, is taking some heat.
What did Palin mean by “pro-America,” exactly?