Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity

Why Some Like It Hot Food Genes and Cultural Diversity Natural historian Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a culinary odyssey to solve the puzzles posed by the ghosts of evolution hidden within every culture and its traditional cuisine We learn how various eth

  • Title: Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity
  • Author: Gary Paul Nabhan
  • ISBN: 9781597260916
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Paperback
  • Natural historian Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a culinary odyssey to solve the puzzles posed by the ghosts of evolution hidden within every culture and its traditional cuisine We learn how various ethnic cuisines formerly protected their traditional consumers from both infectious and nutrition related diseases.

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      Posted by:Gary Paul Nabhan
      Published :2019-05-11T23:08:35+00:00

    One Reply to “Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity”

    1. I am going on holidays to Hawaii in November this year. Every time I go somewhere new I randomly decide a few months before hand that I should read some books about the place, that I should learn the language, the culture, etc. I never do. This year at least, I actually made an effort. I typed Hawaii into the local library’s catalogue and ended up ordering three books, of which this was one. Coincidentally, this book suited my new interest in diets and intolerances. The Hawaii connection is pr [...]

    2. Very interesting, readable book about the interplay of diet and genetics, mostly comprehensible to a layman. Nabhan looks at several populations, along with their traditional and current diets and how that affects their overall health re: malaria, longevity, diabetes, clotting, and cardiovascular disease. His main point is that people are healthier when they eat the diets that they have evolved to eat over the last several thousand years, and that this sort of diet-connected evolution is fairly [...]

    3. When I picked up this book, I thought it would be about our taste buds and why some people like spicy food and others don't. I didn't read the subtitle. However, it was still an interesting book about how ethnic populations can avoid diseases such as diabetes by eating their traditional foods. I am not a scientist or in the medical profession so, although this book makes sense, I am unaware if there are other studies or theories that contradict what Nabhan is saying. I wish he would have include [...]

    4. This book was fascinating! It examines the interaction between biology, culture and food. For example, why do certain populations prepare specific foods with particular herbs and spices at certain times of year -- is it just tasty seasonal eating, or is there an evolved need for those specific nutrients to combat or prevent inherited conditions occurring at that time of year?! The answers are in this book! I enjoyed reading it, and learned a lot of interesting things that really stuck with me an [...]

    5. I read this book many years ago and remember enjoying it, both for the educational aspect and also the interesting anecdotal stories. I recall the opening story about the author's experience when he chose to serve a spicy hot ice cream dessert to his girlfriend who had already made it clear to him that she didn't do hot spices. I think he learned to believe it when he was told that in the future. It was a fun opening to a good book.

    6. I was hoping for a really thoroughly researched, encyclopedic book about all sorts of different flavors and their genetic, historic and anthropologic rationales. In retrospect, that was a really tall order, so the fail to meet expectations needs to be put in that context.And the book isn't bad. Parts are quite good: the conversation about the diversity of human diet and evolution since paleolithic times and the hypothesis that dependent on different genetic makeup people need different foods in [...]

    7. I really wanted to like this book. I love reading about taste and olfaction. But his writing is horrid and indulgent and not very scientific. This book could use a few more runs by an editor. I'm forever grateful to him for explaining what is "wrong" with me (I nearly shouted for joy on a crowded bus reading about supertasters. I have a tribe!) and he has some interesting thoughts and experiences and references to actual experiments, but I feel like he couldn't decide if he was writing a memoir [...]

    8. This book completely changed the way I think about my own personal diet. There were certainly chapters that I like more than others - I especially liked the parts about chilies: “super-tasters” or “non-tasters”, and about preventing diabetes through eating “slow-release” foods. It felt really nice to walk away from such an enjoyable book, feeling like I had learned some valuable and potentially life-changing information.

    9. Nabhan, an ethnobiologist, has a real talent for taking science and making it exciting. In this book he describes our evolutionary adaptations to the plants around us and what happens when we stray from what we have traditionally consumed. He offers case study after case study and suggestions for how to improve our diets on an individual basis. His own research in the deserts of Arizona provides a compelling reason to look seriously at our gastronomic heritage.

    10. The world's first "ethnobiologist", Gary Nabhan, explores in a series of anecdotal narratives the complex relationships between human cultures, cuisines, and the environments/ecologies they come from. The take-home message: nature is weirder than we think, humans are more closely entwined with their environtments than we would like to think, and we just don't know enough about nutrition science yet.

    11. A very interesting discussion of how people are adapted to traditional foods. This book explores how exposure to modern foods -- sugars, wheat, alcohol, fats -- have affected traditonally isolated populations, such as Native Americans. He explains how these foods have resulted in alcoholism, diabetes and other ailments. The idea is that we're genetically adapted to our traditional diets.

    12. This book provided a concise background of the author's anthropology career while telling stories about the cultures he visited or immersed himself in. He provided some solid scientific information-well explained, easy to understand for those in the scientific community or not while keeping it intriguing.

    13. It's an interesting look at the evolutionary interactions between food and culture. Normally I love Gary Paul Nabhan, but unfortunately this one needed an editor. The first couple of chapters were especially circuitous and repetitive.

    14. This book talked about the different cultures and how they could protect themselves from different diseases from the food they ate. Like faya beans In italy saved them from malaria. In Hawaii the tarot kept the people healthy as opposed to a fast food diet.

    15. And interesting perspective that confronts the one diet fits all assumption.but the quality of the chapters varies primarily because Nabhan shifts back and forth between s research and anecdote. But worth the read if not the study.

    16. Interesting premise, that what our ancestors ate predetermines our food sensitivities today. My attention span is slim, and the writing was slow. I might have fared better if there had been more stories, less natural history.

    17. "Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity" - written by Gary Paul Nabhan and published in 2004 by Island Press. An interesting discussion of how our heritage and food are intertwined, and a suggestion to eat our ancestral diet.

    18. This is an interesting book about what makes people different and how your genes affect the person that is you.

    19. it has some good stories, and great information on the history of food and genes, but is a bit dry, and the facts are hard to read with how they are written.

    20. I ended up giving this book back to its owner before I ever got so into it that I couldn't put it down.

    21. Why the much acclaimed Mediterranean diet is not for everyone. Why some people hate the taste of vegetables. Fun for discussion, with food of course!

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