If you are interested in how food and culture have evolved in tandem, then you might enjoy this site. Let me explain a bit about my work.
My Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History (2013) is a comprehensive history of food and culture from the first states to today.
The New York Review of Books praised it as “an exposition as lucid as it is authoritative [which] gives deserved prominence to a long-neglected theme in world history . . . a triumph, pointing the way to a wholly new kind of historiography.” Japanese, Chinese (both mainland and Taiwan), and Korean translations have already appeared and a Spanish one is forthcoming.
My blog is the place where I pursue specific issues in more detail.
As a historian, I have concluded that never have such a large proportion of humans enjoyed such healthful and tasty food, a case I made in “A Plea for Culinary Modernism: Why We Should Love Fast, New, Processed Food” first published in 2001 and widely reprinted in the past twenty years in publications across the political spectrum.
In 2018, I was honored to receive the Paradigm Award of the Breakthrough Institute “in recognition of the progressive story I tell about food and farming.” The Award is given annually for “accomplishment and leadership in the effort to make the future secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling for all the world’s inhabitants on an ecologically vibrant planet.”
I regularly appear on television, radio, and in print media. I review for the Wall Street Journal and the Times Literary Supplement. I have acted as expert witness, editorial and museum board member, consultant, and Scholar in Residence for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. And I am a frequent speaker, keynoting events hosted by culinary, academic, and business organizations.
Currently I am Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to turning to food, I had a successful academic career as a historian and philosopher of science and technology (CV Rachel Laudan 2016).
I have lived for extended periods of time on five different continents, giving me the chance to experience many of the world’s cuisines in their places of origin. A childhood on a working farm in southern England where we grew wheat and barley and had a large dairy provided me with a down-to-earth sense of what it takes to produce the raw materials of food.
At the moment, I am deep into a project on who owns land and how it is inherited.
The lovely image of Egyptian grains in the header is thanks to Dina Said, CC Attribute Share-Alike, 4.0 International.