Renewing America's Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent's Most Endangered Foods

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9781933392899: Renewing America's Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent's Most Endangered Foods
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Renewing America's Food Traditions is a beautifully illustrated dramatic call to recognize, celebrate, and conserve the great diversity of foods that gives North America its distinctive culinary identity that reflects our multicultural heritage. It offers us rich natural and cultural histories as well as recipes and folk traditions associated with the rarest food plants and animals in North America. In doing so, it reminds us that what we choose to eat can either conserve or deplete the cornucopia of our continent.

While offering a eulogy to a once-common game food that has gone extinct--the passenger pigeon--the book doesn't dwell on tragic losses. Instead, it highlights the success stories of food recovery, habitat restoration, and market revitalization that chefs, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and foresters have recently achieved. Through such "food parables," editor Gary Paul Nabhan and his colleagues build a persuasive argument for eater-based conservation.

In addition, this book offers the first-ever list of foods at risk in America (more than a thousand), shows how all of us can personally support and participate in such recoveries, and lists food festivals held across the continent to honor and enjoy some of the country's most iconic foods, from crab cakes to maple syrup and filé gumbo. Organized by "food nations" named for the ecological and cultural keystone foods of each region--Salmon Nation, Bison Nation, Chile Pepper Nation, among others--this book offers an altogether fresh perspective on the culinary traditions of North America.

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About the Author:

Writer, professor, and conservationist Gary Paul Nabhan is the director of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University. Nabhan's writing is widely anthologized and translated, and has won the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing, a Western States Book Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Review:

"Nabhan and his colleagues honor all of us who grow food with a sense of gratitude for our ancestors from the human, plant and animal worlds."
--David Mas Masumoto, farmer and author of Epitaph for a Peach
"Gary Paul Nabhan has dedicated himself to nurturing the vital ties which link community, culture and landscape. We are threatened with the loss of productive agricultural lands and farmers, and the productive species which feed our bodies and souls. This book shows the importance of food as the essential bond between what we eat and who we are. A must read for everyone who cares about food and the land from whence it comes. Great recipes, too!"
--Patrick F. O'Toole, rancher and President of the Family Farm Alliance

"If you're going to buy a single book about American food, buy this one. Discover a remapping of our narrow political boundaries in a new vision of North America's 13 basic 'Food Nations.' Explore as if for the first time ecological territories named Bison, Gumbo, Pinyon Nut, Maple Syrup. Learn how--through recipes, images, mini-histories--to help save and renew these most precious resources. Knowledge is everything. I'm grateful to the authors and publishers of this vital book for making knowing, saving and savoring one and the same action."
--Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn and Raising Steaks

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Published by Chelsea Green Publishing (2008)
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Published by Chelsea Green Publishing (2008)
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