Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Consuming Culture

Consuming Culture

Why You Eat What You Eat

Jeremy MacClancy

Henry Holt and Co.



Why do some pregnant American women eat clay? Why do Cornish women blush at the mention of skate? What is the secret of a healthy diet in Papua New Guinea.

Consuming Culture is about why we eat what we eat--and what our eating habits say about us. Original, witty, and provocative, this world tour of food cultures shows how food relates to sex, to the culinary snakes and ladders of meat versus vegetables, and to the often baffling rules of eating etiquette. The first book to investigate the human fascination with food, Consuming Culture explains how food makes friends or enemies of us all and why many societies, including our own, are obsessed with eating what is bad for them.

Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are," French gastronome Brillat-Savarine declared. To the Aboriginals of Australia it is fried witchetty grubs; to the Bameka of cameroon it is spiced cat stew. As this pioneering work demonstrates, the use of food in different cultures around the world is by turns perverse, fascinating, disquieting, and, above all, deeply revealing.

From the psychology of supermarkets to the cuisine of trench warfare, from the diet industry to cannibalism, Consuming Culture gives valuable--and often hilarious--insight into the importance of food in our society. It will be an essential source of reference for life in the 1990s.


Praise for Consuming Culture

"A sly, rollicking account of gastronomic habits, esoteric food and bizarre eating etiquette from around the globe."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jeremy MacClancy

Jeremy MacClancy is a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is the author of To Kill a Bird with Two Stones: A History of Vanuatu.

Jeremy MacClancy