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Renewing America's Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent's Most Endangered Foods Paperback – May 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392899
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Nabhan and his colleagues honor all of us who grow food with a sense of gratitude for our ancestors from the human, plant and animal worlds."
--David Mas Masumoto, farmer and author of Epitaph for a Peach



"Gary Paul Nabhan has dedicated himself to nurturing the vital ties which link community, culture and landscape. We are threatened with the loss of productive agricultural lands and farmers, and the productive species which feed our bodies and souls. This book shows the importance of food as the essential bond between what we eat and who we are. A must read for everyone who cares about food and the land from whence it comes. Great recipes, too!"
--Patrick F. O'Toole, rancher and President of the Family Farm Alliance

"If you're going to buy a single book about American food, buy this one. Discover a remapping of our narrow political boundaries in a new vision of North America's 13 basic 'Food Nations.' Explore as if for the first time ecological territories named Bison, Gumbo, Pinyon Nut, Maple Syrup. Learn how--through recipes, images, mini-histories--to help save and renew these most precious resources. Knowledge is everything. I'm grateful to the authors and publishers of this vital book for making knowing, saving and savoring one and the same action."
--Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn and Raising Steaks

Review

“Nabhan and his colleagues honor all of us who grow food with a sense of gratitude for our ancestors from the human, plant and animal worlds."
—David Mas Masumoto, farmer and author of Epitaph for a Peach



“Gary Paul Nabhan has dedicated himself to nurturing the vital ties which link community, culture and landscape. We are threatened with the loss of productive agricultural lands and farmers, and the productive species which feed our bodies and souls. This book shows the importance of food as the essential bond between what we eat and who we are. A must read for everyone who cares about food and the land from whence it comes. Great recipes, too!”
—Patrick F. O’Toole, rancher and President of the Family Farm Alliance

“If you're going to buy a single book about American food, buy this one. Discover a remapping of our narrow political boundaries in a new vision of North America's 13 basic 'Food Nations.' Explore as if for the first time ecological territories named Bison, Gumbo, Pinyon Nut, Maple Syrup. Learn how--through recipes, images, mini-histories--to help save and renew these most precious resources. Knowledge is everything. I'm grateful to the authors and publishers of this vital book for making knowing, saving and savoring one and the same action.”
—Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn and Raising Steaks

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book's key focus is summarized on page xi, from a Foreword penned by Deborah Madison: "The Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) collaborative. . .suggests a different scenario, one in which foods that are old might well be new again; these unfamiliar products from our country's regional food traditions can be every bit as compelling as the exotic foods we import from afar." The Introduction laments the disappearance of food traditions--and with them, food sources, some of which have become extinct, others of which have become endangered.

Gary Nabhan, the volume's editor, argues that by renewing these traditions, we might be able to revise endangered or threatened species. He notes what is at stake: much of American cuisine today is close to tasteless. Think tomatoes, for example. Mass produced, bland redness of tomatoes, for instance. Nabhan notes what has happened over time. A century ago, Americans used 15,000 different varieties of apple; today, we only have 1500 varieties. We are impoverishing the supply of food sources, with convenience replacing taste and texture. The book even lays out a "mission statement" of what we should strive for (Page 13).

The organizing structure of the book is the various "food nations," regions of the country with distinct food preferences and cultures. For example, Maple Syrup Nation includes parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont to Indiana and Ohio. Clambake Nation runs along the coastal region from Maine to New Jersey and Delaware. As an Illinoisan, I'm interested in Cornbread Nation. Then, Bison Nation, from the Dakotas and Montana to Texas. You get the point.

But, to me, one of the most interesting parts of the book, after understanding its philosophy, is the set of recipes that typify each region.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Gilleland TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is not just about food, it is about something deeply intrinsic to America - our food regions. As I read the book, I thought it strange that the author divides America in to the same regions that are predicted by Russia to result in any civil war break up of America. I could also see such strong, strong differences along the lines! Could it be, I thought, that "Cornbread nation" just does not completely get where "Maple Nation?" is coming from?

I really enjoyed the section on the American Chestnuts. So sad what happened to those majestic trees. It made me just want to go plant one.

I appreciated the information about how file powder is made from Sassafras - I have a sassafras tree and have been BUYING my powder. No more, now I can make my own!

I think survivalists would enjoy this book as well. It is not often one sees SQUIRREL recipes anymore. The pictures also, they are awesome.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book inspired me to grow more in my garden and stick with foods native to my area
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