Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
100 Million Years of Food

100 Million Years of Food

What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today

Stephen Le

Picador

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A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food.

There are few areas of modern life that are burdened by as much information and advice, often contradictory, as our diet and health: eat a lot of meat, eat no meat; whole-grains are healthy, whole-grains are a disaster; eat everything in moderation; eat only certain foods--and on and on. In 100 Million Years of Food biological anthropologist Stephen Le explains how cuisines of different cultures are a result of centuries of evolution, finely tuned to our biology and surroundings. Today many cultures have strayed from their ancestral diets, relying instead on mass-produced food often made with chemicals that may be contributing to a rise in so-called "Western diseases," such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity.

Travelling around the world to places as far-flung as Vietnam, Kenya, India, and the US, Stephen Le introduces us to people who are growing, cooking, and eating food using both traditional and modern methods, striving for a sustainable, healthy diet. In clear, compelling arguments based on scientific research, Le contends that our ancestral diets provide the best first line of defense in protecting our health and providing a balanced diet. Fast-food diets, as well as strict regimens like paleo or vegan, in effect highjack our biology and ignore the complex nature of our bodies. In 100 Million Years of Food Le takes us on a guided tour of evolution, demonstrating how our diets are the result of millions of years of history, and how we can return to a sustainable, healthier way of eating.

EXCERPT

INTRODUCTION

What Should We Eat and How Should We Live?



Around the world, people are increasingly beset with vexing conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, gout, hypertension, breast cancer, food allergies,...

Reviews

Praise for 100 Million Years of Food

“This deliciously entertaining book will help you to enjoy eating your food, to enjoy thinking about your food, and to stay healthy.” —Jared Diamond, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Times bestselling author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse

"The vastness, breadth, and ambitiousness of Stephen Le's 100 Million Years of Food makes it compelling and engaging."—Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt and Cod

"Le mixes advice, personal anecdotes, and medical science in this fascinating food-for-thought narrative."—Booklist

"In this accessible debut, Le offers a nimble hybrid that is equal parts travel memoir and informed speculation about the biology of human nutrition. The author, with roots in Vietnam and Canada, also explores how different cultures approach food in support of his thesis that straying from one's ancestral diets is a leading cause of modern disease. It's a surprisingly clear-eyed approach....The book's conclusions about what to eat and drink are common sense, but the journey Le takes to get us there is worth the cover price."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Stephen Le

Stephen Le is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa. He received a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010 where he was a recipient of a UCLA Chancellor's Fellowship and a National Science Foundation grant for his fieldwork in Vietnam. 100 Million Years of Food is his first book.

Stephen Le

Thuy Hoang

Visit the author's faculty profile at UCLA

From the Publisher

Picador

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