Book Review – Food, Genes and Culture by Gary Paul Nabhan.

Food genes and culture

4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Island Press for allowing me an ARC of this book via Netgalley for an open and honest review.

This is an amazing and informative book that I really connected to as I’ve held a long belief that the diets and food fads followed today should not be seen as blanket options and as one size does not fit all solutions.

In Food, Genes and Culture we explore how the foods we eat affect us not just because of their level of nutrition (or lack of it) but because of what foods we have grown up on and what foods fed our ancestors. All of these make us who we are and I really feel people to analyse all this when seeking better food guidance.

I could be reading into this book more than what was there, but I did find it helped support my belief that you need to find the foods that are good for you, not what all the “specialists” tell you to eat. I would also be fascinated to find out more about my allium intolerance that travels through the females on my maternal side. This book has helped give me the encouragement to learn more about it, what it may mean and has helped me discover it’s not just a quirk of mine… a lot of people have it.

What can I say about this book? Well, I found it a little bogged down and long winded in sections, will never look at chillies the same way again – after that study he mentioned in Mexico – and all in all found it a highly educational read.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. In fact it’s one of the books I already have been recommending to others. I’m known as a wholefood foodie and therefore tend to talk to people with similar interests. I’ve been recommending this book to anyone who is interested in seeking the best diet for their own health. They shouldn’t just read books on specific diet trends and fads – I’ve been strongly suggesting they read this book too as I really do feel it will help give them a better understanding of which foods may (and may not) be best for them.

Would I buy this book myself? Very tempted to. It really is the sort of reference book anyone interested in the origin of man and his interaction with food should own. However, I can see parts of it dating quicker than others so I’d almost like to own an electronic version that updated as needed.

In summary, this isn’t a little bit of light reading. This is something to sit down and become engrossed in as it helps explain the different cultures around the world, how modern food is killing some while barely seeming to affect others and all in all help you get back to the basics and understand why you need to find the foods best for you, yourself and your cultural and physical background.

A simply fascinating read and one I think anyone who calls themselves a foodie should read.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO


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