Among the major figures in the West's collective imagination, one may include Cronus who devours his children, fasting on Good Friday, great famines, serial killers who feed on their victims, the faces of undernourished children, nouvelle cuisine pts, junk food, and anorexic models' emaciated bodies. Food - both an essential need and an enemy to fight against - is an obsession that constantly populates our everyday life. The challenge of food shortages is accompanied, in wealthier countries, by a maniacal attention for healthy, untainted victuals; while slow food philosophy dictates the rules of dietary good manners, we also live under the dark shadow of eating pathologies that may lead to death. This book provides an engaging account of an activity that has left its mark on the history of humanity.
Paolo Rossi is professor emeritus at the University of Florence and is a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.