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The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who… (2018)

– tekijä: Daniel Stone

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1736121,559 (3.92)3
The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes--and thousands more--to the American plate. "In the nineteenth century American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. Agriculture yielded stable, basic crops like soybeans, corn, and barley, and few growers considered variety or flavor. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable hunger to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. Boarding a steamship, Fairchild embarked with little money and even less confidence, but he abounded with curiosity. Soon he fell in with an eccentric San Francisco millionaire named Barbour Lathrop, who took a shine to the awkward young man and financed his wanderlust. Across oceans and over rails, up mountainsides and through the surf of tropical beaches, they visited five continents and more than fifty countries, encountering cultures unimaginable to his neighbors back home. Kale from Croatia, mangoes from India, and hops from Bavaria. Peaches from China, avocados from Chile, and pomegranates from Malta. Fairchild's finds weren't just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionized an industry, and from Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America's capital. Along the way he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. But his culinary ambition came during a formative era, the golden age of science, travel, and a world growing more connected; and through him, America's food system was transformed into the most diverse ever."--Dust jacket.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This was a fairly interesting book on the push for new crops in the US and the use of the USDA to distribute them and educate farmers. David Fairchild traveled around the world bringing back cuttings, seeds and rootstocks of plants he felt had potential. Some have become staples of our diet. However I am not clear why the author felt the need to paint Charles Marlatt as a villain for insisting on proper inspection and quarantine of imported plants. As an entomologist Marlatt feared the importation of pests, and obviously that was a realistic fear. His opinions made Fairchild's work more difficult, but he was still correct in his cautions. I guess the author just sort of fell in love with his subject.
  ritaer | Feb 4, 2021 |
If you were always interested in finding out why the Meyer Lemon is called just that or how the Haas avocado got its name... this book is for you! ( )
  yukon92 | Feb 19, 2019 |
Utterly fascinating if one is interested in where our crops originated and how what we eat changes. Not a standard biography, but you'll certainly know more when you finish. ( )
  MM_Jones | Sep 11, 2018 |
This is a worthwhile read, not only to learn the history of foods we take for granted in North America, but to observe the opposing politics that continue to prevail today. Do we open our doors wide to the world, believing that there will be rewards or do we bar the door out of fear that new things will harm us? ( )
1 ääni PennyMck | Jul 23, 2018 |
A solid waste of time. Neither a biography, a travelogue, or a book about food, this book does an excellent job of accomplishing nothing. Two stars for the pics, a zero for the writing. Problems galore in this book....no real indication of the educational background of Fairchild. No idea what the stop in Germany early in his career might have been about as it is not mentioned until it is referenced several times later in the book...very little about the plants themselves....and the author seems to be fascinated with Fairchild to the point that he defends him to an extent far beyond objectivity. I do not care about a person's sexuality, most especially in a book about a botanist, a book that turned out either to be an exceptionally bad biography or was never meant to be a biography....what then was it? The two decades from 1920 to 1940 were covered in just a few paragraphs....biography? I think not. I can usually put up with a mediocre book if I get something, anything, out of it. Not the case here. Beyond mediocre in the wrong direction. ( )
  untraveller | Jul 20, 2018 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Never to have seen anything but the temperate zone is to have lived on the fringe of the world. Between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer live the majority of all the plant species, the vast majority of the insects, most of the strange and dangerous and exciting quadrupeds, all of the great and most of the poisonous snakes and large lizards, most of the brilliantly colored sea fishes, and the strangest and most gorgeously plumaged of the birds. Not to struggle and economize and somehow see the tropics puts you, in my opinion, in the class with the boys who could never scrape together enough pennies to go to the circus. They never wanted to badly enough, that's all.
—David Fairchild
The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add [a] useful plant to [its] culture.
—Thomas Jefferson
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For Walter Steinberg, my life's Lathrop
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One of the humbling parts of being an American is the regular reminder that no matter how swollen America's pride or power, nothing has been American for very long.
The trip had been a punishing, a rocky overnight voyage over rough seas.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes--and thousands more--to the American plate. "In the nineteenth century American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. Agriculture yielded stable, basic crops like soybeans, corn, and barley, and few growers considered variety or flavor. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable hunger to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. Boarding a steamship, Fairchild embarked with little money and even less confidence, but he abounded with curiosity. Soon he fell in with an eccentric San Francisco millionaire named Barbour Lathrop, who took a shine to the awkward young man and financed his wanderlust. Across oceans and over rails, up mountainsides and through the surf of tropical beaches, they visited five continents and more than fifty countries, encountering cultures unimaginable to his neighbors back home. Kale from Croatia, mangoes from India, and hops from Bavaria. Peaches from China, avocados from Chile, and pomegranates from Malta. Fairchild's finds weren't just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionized an industry, and from Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America's capital. Along the way he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. But his culinary ambition came during a formative era, the golden age of science, travel, and a world growing more connected; and through him, America's food system was transformed into the most diverse ever."--Dust jacket.

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