Cover: Seed to Civilization: The Story of Food, from Harvard University PressCover: Seed to Civilization in E-DITION

Seed to Civilization

The Story of Food

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674865907

Publication Date: 08/06/1990

228 pages

illustrations

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Eating is the second favorite activity of many people, and for some it is the first. This lively book recounts the intriguing story of the plants and animals that stand between humans and starvation. Charles Heiser, preeminent botanist, writes with great verve about questions of where, when, and how humankind’s food plants and animals were domesticated. In narrating his tale, the author traces the intricate patterns of food use and distribution that have developed from prehistoric times to the present.

The bulk of the book examines basic food plants and animals: meats, cereals, legumes, sugar, starchy staples (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams), oils, and other plants used for beverages and spices. Heiser provides many captivating details, enhanced by some 100 photographs, about a range of topics from archaeology to ethnobotany.

This new edition contains completely updated dietary information, additional background on the origins of maize in the light of new findings, a critique of the increasingly popular ”pseudocereals” such as Amaranthus, and a balanced appraisal of seed and gene banks. The book ends on a somber note with an even-handed assessment of our present and potential food supply, and includes recommendations for improving our cultivation and production of food sources. This book is must reading for anyone interested in the problem of feeding the world’s teeming millions over the next half century.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket, Author Unknown: The Power of Anonymity in Ancient Rome, by Tom Geue, from Harvard University Press

Who Needs an Author?

In his new book Author Unknown: The Power of Anonymity in Ancient Rome, classicist Tom Geue asks us to work with anonymity rather than against it and to appreciate the continuing power of anonymity in our own time. Here, he discusses the history—and strength—of anonymous works of literature. Back in the roaring ’20s, I. A. Richar

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.