Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them by Dan Saladino
(Jonathan Cape, 2021)

Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them

by Dan Saladino

A captivating and unexpected journey through the history of humankind’s relationship with food, with an urgent message for our times.

We live in an age of mass extinction. The earth’s biodiversity is decreasing at a faster rate than ever. Industrial agriculture and the standardization of taste are not only wiping out many edible plants, but also the food cultures, histories and livelihoods that go with them.

Inspired by a global project to collect and preserve foods that are at risk of extinction, Dan Saladino sets out to encounter these endangered foods. Each food tells a story – some of them moving and personal, some of them urgent and timely – and collectively they span the history of civilisation and touch on many of the biggest issues of our time, from climate change to global inequality.

From a humble pea found on an island on the south coast of America to a mysterious cheese found in the mountains of the Balkans, from the wild honey eaten for centuries by the nomadic tribes of Tanzania, to a rare citrus fruit in the mountain forests of India that is the genetic ancestor of all the world’s oranges, each ingredient transports us to a different time and place. Spanning the globe in his search for the most endangered foods, Dan Saladino takes us on a thrilling tour of a disappearing world, and reveals the battles being fought for the future of the planet.

Reviews

Dan Saladino’s stories of endangered foods form a rallying cry to us all to protect the world’s diversity before it’s too late. But this is also a book filled with optimism; it captures the energy of a global movement of people dedicating their lives to saving the plants, the animals, the flavours and the food knowledge we must preserve.”
- Alice Waters
I’ve long admired Dan Saladino’s journalism for its broad scope and passion. The same qualities animate his first book EATING TO EXTINCTION, an inspiring account of endangered foods and food cultures across the planet. Everyone who cares about what they eat will want to know its stories.”
- Harold McGee