From Famine to Fast Food: Nutrition, Diet, and Concepts of Health Around the World

, ed. 293p. ebook available. index. photos. Greenwood. 2014. Tr $37. ISBN 9781610697439. LC 2014000623.
Gr 8 Up—Albala and 100-plus contributors have taken on the ambitious task of compiling a listing of information related to nutrition, diet, and health around the world, addressing facets, such as culture, beliefs, and religion that affect the dynamics of nations' general well-being. The authors strive to address how readers can help alleviate hunger and malnutrition beyond hand-outs and to encourage leaders to make informed policy decisions. The material is arranged by continent and then in alphabetical order by nation. Each entry begins with statistics, such as population, life expectancy, and percent of the population that has access to safe drinking water. Next comes material on eating habits and diets. Important health concerns are mentioned and include topics such as malnourishment, obesity levels, vitamins, and saturated fat levels, how foods or herbs are used for medicinal reasons, and how religion impacts the general consumption of the population. Some entries contain black-and-white photos or a recipe to make a traditional entrée, but they are few and far between. This title is a solid starting point for research on geographical, culinary, or cultural information on many countries. However, most users will need to look to other sources for further content. Ken Albala's Food Cultures of the World (Greenwood, 2011) would be a great pairing.—Jane Hebert, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL

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