Wed February 4, 2009
How the foods we eat are transported, and what that transportation tells us.
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's StudioTulsa, we speak with Sarah Murray, a travel writer and longtime contributor to Financial Times. Murray's interesting new book, just out in paperback from Picador, is called "Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat." Far-reaching and thorough yet also readable and breezy, this book offers fascinating insights about why we eat the foods we eat --- and about the travels that such foods undergo before reaching our table. As one reviewer in Publishers Weekly has noted: "Murray takes a look at the literal journey of food through multilayered essays [on] the history of food transportation. From the banana export business of Central America (which was rife with America's economic gain and political manhandling) to the creation of the barrel (which revolutionized transcontinental trading and contributed a new dimension to the art of winemaking), the [book's] dozen chapters each start with a straightforward item --- the shipping container, a tin can, a tub of yogurt, etc. --- and delve into topics of greater significance like globalization, empire building, localized farming, and food aid programs.... For example, [Murray's] essay on the amphora, a container used to carry olive oil throughout the ancient Roman Empire, not only depicts the social and economic importance of olive oil in Roman times but also leads into the contemporary debate of regional designation of origins for foods like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Newcastle brown ale. Erudite and thoroughly researched, this is a fascinating read for both foodies and those who love how the minutiae of life often provide a fresh lens with which to view the world."