• Food and the evolution of life
Dinner with Darwin
This is a book pertaining to the new class of gastro-biology. The Author takes us in a journey through evolution: of mankind, from vegetarian apes to omnivorous bipeds; of animals and plants which we decided to domesticate; of bacteria, germs and funguses which helped us in our evolutionary success.
The cheese you are accustomed to eat will never look and taste the same after learning that cheese is a “microbiome”, a community of several families of highly specialized microbes, each one with its own evolutionary history and geographical origin. Perhaps you will be cheered up instead by knowing that all the potatoes you have eaten during your life (produced and traded in the world) belong to just one species, known as Solanum Tuberosum, domesticated in the Andes close to lake Titicaca. However 4 other potatoes species have been domesticated by farmers in Latin Amerca while another 103 wild potatoes species could do wonders to reduce hunger in dry areas of the planet, thanks to genetic research.
The tour around “food evolution” that Prof. Silvertown is guiding in this book may not be a linear one but certainly it is full of surprises and it helps disclosing new horizons to everyone curious about origin, present and future of human nutrition.