Next Episode of Eat: The Story of Food is
From the way Spam helped defeat Hitler, to how sausage spread the Roman Empire, to how spices created the global economy, "EAT: The Story of Food" leaves no morsel of information on the plate. Each of the six one-hour episodes is centered on a different theme: food revolutionaries, meat, sugar, seafood, junk food and grains. Throughout the episodes this incredible group of food ambassadors share their personal stories and reflections on food, not just looking back at history but looking forward to the future and at the cultural impact of our food consumption. Author Simon Majumdar summarizes this in his interview when he notes, "There are very few occasions in any family's life in any culture that aren't marked by a meal; from a new baby to an Irish wake and all points in between.""What makes food really personal is that it makes you think," adds chef Marcus Samuelsson. "What tribe are you? Who are you? Who are we as a family? Who are we as a community? And what does this specific dish mean to us? It connects us."
It's the stuff we love to hate: processed food. It has changed what we eat so much that today our ancestors would hardly recognize it as food. The modern quest for this fast and convenient food may have begun with Herman Lay and his innovative individual packages of potato chips. During World War II industrialization gave us Spam, processing techniques developed for soldier rations gave us frozen foods and an increasingly female workforce gave rise to the need for quick and easy meals. The interstate highway system literally paved the way for fast food restaurants, and people were hooked. With companies around the world churning out new products to get a slice of someone's "stomach share," questions and concerns abound about the health and safety of these foods loaded with sugar, fat and salt. The question about embracing or fighting this fast food revolution may be even more important for our future.
The discovery of how to grow and cook grain led to the establishment of agriculture, which ultimately allowed humans to end hunter/gatherer practices and settle into the stay-at-home family groups that formed the earliest civilizations. Grains more than any other foods are emblematic of the struggle between the haves and have-nots, as evidenced by the French Revolution, and ancient versus modern, exemplified through the development of packaged sliced bread. In the past 80 years attempts to refine this once-perfect food have resulted in the unintended consequences of making some breads empty of nutrition and gluten arising as the newest enemy among food warriors. Today grains in their purest form have risen again with a renewed embrace of the natural and artisanal found in a great loaf of bread, an amber mug of craft beer or a hand-tossed crust in a gourmet pizza pie.
Bread, candy, beer, pizza, ice cream, chips; people are hardwired to crave certain indulgent foods.
This is the history of meat and seafood; the ability to gather, hunt, fish and cook.
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