This is an elegantly written and thought-provoking book about food authenticity, passing down food traditions from one generation to the next and why one diet does not it all. Every diet (vegan, paleo or whatever else) seems to promise a one-size-fits-all solution to health.
In Food, Genes, and Culture, renowned ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan shows why the perfect diet for one person could be disastrous for another. If your ancestors were herders in Northern Europe, milk might well provide you with important nutrients, whereas if you're Native American, you have a higher likelihood of lactose intolerance. If your roots lie in the Greek islands, the acclaimed Mediterranean diet might save your heart; if not, all that olive oil could just give you stomach cramps.
Nabhan traces food traditions around the world, from Bali to Mexico, uncovering the links between ancestry and individual responses to food. The implications go well beyond personal taste. Today's widespread mismatch between diet and genes is leading to serious health conditions, including a dramatic growth over the last 50 years in auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.
Last not least, Nabhan shows some beautiful case studies of broken societies that were reconnected by them reconnecting back to their authentic diets, to their lands and their traditions—significantly boosting happiness, meaning and overall well-being.