Book Review: Eating to Extinction; Are Our Favorite Foods Dying?

hey everyone it’s kim and welcome back
to bookmarks and breadsticks
welcome back to bookmarks and
breadsticks i’m here with a review of a
new upcoming release i’m here to talk
about eating to extinction the world’s
rarest foods and why we need to save
them by dan saladino i received this as
arc an audiobook arc actually my first
one from netgalley so thank you very
much netgalley for providing this arc to
me this book and its audio book will be
available in february i believe the
tentative date right now is february 8th
2022 the audiobook comes in at just shy
of 13 hours but i did find that i could
listen to the book at 1.25 speed and
really not miss out on any of the
so first a little bit about the author
dan saladino is a journalist and
broadcaster he makes programs about food
on bbc radio 4 and bbc world service his
work has been recognized by the guild of
food writers awards the fortnum and
mason food and drink awards and the
american james beard award foundation so
while the book did receive an award in

2019 it is coming to the states in
february of 2022 as i mentioned before
and will come in at 464 pages and is
published by random house the
globalization of food has been the
downfall of mankind at least that is
kind of what the premise of this book is
at one point there were 6 000 unique
plants that we ate as humans and now we
are down to just a handful and there are
some really beautiful foods animals
plants livestock and traditions that are
disappearing from the world because of
this global food supply chain we find
ourselves in so throughout the audiobook
each chapter
it takes on a different food or topic
and the book is broken up into parts so
we sometimes we start with plants
there’s a whole section about fish
there’s a whole section about traditions
and so forth so what i love about this
book is that you can definitely listen
to a chapter and walk away you can
listen to a chapter and research more
like i did i did not know that at one
point our entire civilization was based
around the white pig versus i think the
pink pig we think of today which
actually has its roots from china so the
chinese pig came to america we populate
it it’s everywhere and then in china the
swine flu happens their global their
population of pigs have to be killed and
they end up importing back their own
original pig i’m paraphrasing obviously
but there’s stuff that’s so uniquely
fascinating that i didn’t even know
um existed not only is a white pig
fascinating but there’s lots of other
topics and chapters in the books that i
did recognize like discussions about the
banana and the monoculture and the fact
that there’s only one specific banana we
can still grow and eat in the states
meanwhile dozens of other varieties of
bananas are going extinct the same thing
can be said for apples and how we are
grafting and developing apples not for
flavor not for uniqueness or richness
but we are growing and developing apples
so they can handle being picked and
sitting on shelves for months at a time
or in cold storage so it’s interesting
to talk about like feet
harvesting seed diversity and
biodiversity and as we as mankind have
made decisions to breed only the best
that help a supply chain and the problem
with having one or two variations of a
single plant when there could have been
thousands more is when blight or things
like coven 19 happen and suddenly you
have collapse of an entire crop some of
my other favorite chapters was learning
about the andy the andes mountains and
how there was at one point something
like 4 000 unique potatoes that only
certain traditional indigenous people of
the andes know how to grow and take care
of meanwhile those potatoes are slowly
going extinct because of the import of
the potatoes girl in the united states
are being sent to the andes so people
are moving to the cities relying on this
potato and forgetting their heritage and
the traditions that have been passed
down for generations
my favorite part of this book was
actually the whole section dedicated to
fish seafood and aquatic agriculture
there’s a lot of discussions about
farm-raised fish but also about the
ancient traditions around batarga and
the idea of preserving fish row dry
preserving techniques and so on there’s
a lot of rich really interesting
information in here on average the
chapters are under 45 minutes some are
as short as five to eight minutes and
like i said that makes the book for me
super approachable my goal was to listen
to maybe an hour of the book a day to
get to the end because i think when you
first start 13 hours can seem daunting
as an audiobook but i found it very
bingeable because i only
i learned just enough about a topic to
be super exciting now i want to go learn
so much more about the targa for example
but if there was a chapter that didn’t
interest me we moved on and
ultimately the takeaway from this book
is the rallying cry from
the author
is that it’s not too late we as mankind
can change things and we’re already
starting to see this in the artisan and
revival movements i think of someone
like sean brock which is not the only
chef and forgive me for
the first chef i’m thinking of is a
white chef but sean brock is one of the
chefs in the south in the united states
who is working on regrowing and bringing
back to life some of the indigenous
corns that we bred out of use
essentially in the united states there
are plenty other of activists as well
that are working on this this book has
been largely well received from the food
writing community and someone like food
historian b wilson has really high
regards for this book i loved this book
so much and i think you can see first
off like the type the cover is really
beautiful for this book but i love this
book so much i actually pre-ordered a
hardcover copy so i could have it on my
collection behind me
but that is my quick review of eating to
extinction by dan saladino i highly
recommend this book i am so excited it
is one of the first books i read in
2022. like we have set the bar very high
that is how much i
loved listening to this book enough that
i ordered the book it’s really
intriguing and it kind of intersects the
world not only of food writing but of
nature writing and environmentalism as
well so i think there are tons of people
that would love to approach this book
and i really recommend it so let me know
in the comments below what do you think
about eating to extinction i’ve seen a
few of you on my community page comment
on how beautiful the cover is which i
completely agree on your way down please
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where i’m trying to raise close to
thirteen thousand dollars so i can
launch the read it and eat book club
which can be both in person and virtual
and is a combination of not only reading
food writing books but bringing in
experts of the community and small
businesses so that they can talk about
their experience in the food space
whether it’s an artisan who knows how to
make the best honey with the most
amazing local honey bees to local chefs
that are also just trying to bring back
their heritage and in their cuisine i
hope you’re well wear a mask get
vaccinated get boosted stay safe guys
i’ll see you in the next one bye

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