The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed the American Dinner Table



The True Adventures Of David Fairchild, A Late Nineteenth Century Food Explorer Who Traveled The Globe And Introduced Diverse Crops Like Avocados, Mangoes, Seedless Grapes And Thousands To The American PlateIn The Nineteenth Century, American Meals Were About Subsistence, Not Enjoyment But As A New Century Approached, Appetites Broadened, And David Fairchild, A Young Botanist With An Insatiable Lust To Explore And Experience The World, Set Out In Search Of Foods That Would Enrich The American Farmer And Enchant The American Eater.Kale From Croatia, Mangoes From India, And Hops From Bavaria Peaches From China, Avocados From Chile, And Pomegranates From Malta Fairchild S Finds Weren T Just Limited To Food From Egypt He Sent Back A Variety Of Cotton That Revolutionized An Industry, And Via Japan He Introduced The Cherry Blossom Tree, Forever Brightening America S Capital Along The Way, He Was Arrested, Caught Diseases, And Bargained With Island Tribes But His Culinary Ambition Came During A Formative Era, And Through Him, America Transformed Into The Most Diverse Food System Ever Created.The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed the American Dinner Table

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  • ebook
  • 397 pages
  • The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed the American Dinner Table
  • Daniel Stone
  • English
  • 17 December 2018
  • 9781101990605

10 thoughts on “The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed the American Dinner Table

  1. says:

    The true story of David Fairchild 1869 1954 , a botanist who traveled the world looking for new and better food crops for American farmers It s not a full biography because it focuses mainly on the 20 years or so that he was actively overseas collecting new seeds, cuttings and sprouts.Fairchild collected specimens until his late 30 s This was the 1880 s 1890 s and much of South America, Africa, India and China were wild, primitive, dangerous places He had great adventures being arrested and almost dying at various times from typhoid fever and mules losing their footing on a precipice while crossing the Andes Although most of the time he worked for the US Department of Agriculture, a lot of the expense was financed by his millionaire companion, Barbour Lathrop, who accompanied him on many trips In his youth Fairchild lived the life of a gay man, closeted in those days He and Barbour were members of a Bohemian Club In his late 30 s Fairchild switched his lifestyle and married Alexander Graham ...

  2. says:

    Cue up the marching band, majorettes, flag waving veterans, and cheering crowds The Food Explorer by Daniel Stone is a proud celebration of American greatness The hero of the story is David Fairchild 1869 1954 , a botanist and agricultural explorer Working for the U.S Department of Agriculture, his group was responsible for sending home seeds and cuttings of thousands of plants from nations around the world The goal was to expand the variety of crops grown in America, and build the biggest, most profitable, industrial agriculture system in human history.The devious villain in the story is Charles Marlatt, a childhood acquaintance of Fairchild who had grown up to be an entomologist He detested what Fairchild was doing, because the tons of samples sent home to Washington were not quarantined and thoroughly inspected So, plant diseases and pests were free to flee and discover America Imported insects included the codling moth, Hessian fly, asparagus beetle, hop plant louse, cabbage worm, wheat plant louse, pea weevil, Croton bug, boll weevil, San Jose scale, gypsy moth, brown tail moth, Argentinian ant, alfalfa leaf weevil, and so on Marlatt understood that plant pests and pathogens were potentially as dangerous to society as a cholera epidemic They could spread rapidly and cause enormous damage Farms were getting thrashed, and Marlatt had stunning photos It was ...

  3. says:

    In the late 19th century, eating in America was pretty basic without a lot of variety and probably not a lot of flavor It was definitely not the culture of being a foodie that we have today Despite the diverse land and climate, especially as the country grew westward, the food that was grown and cultivated, remained relatively the same David Fairchild, a botanist, with an insatiable desire to travel, sought and brought back some of our favorite foods that we take for granted as always having been here It is amazing to think that foods like avocado, cashews, mangoes, papaya, grapes were not native to America but brought here in the form of seeds or cuttings that sometimes were acquired dubiously and not without danger in some cases Sometimes with a benefactor mentor he traveled around the globe several times by ship in order to send back to the Department of Agriculture, seeds or cuttings to be cultivated here in similar climat...

  4. says:

    Book DescriptionThe true adventures of David Fairchild, a late nineteenth century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes and thousands to the American plate.My ThoughtsIn the 19th century, preparing meals and eating was solely viewed as necessary for survival People didn t go on culinary adventures or look for exotic ingredients to create flavor combinations to delight the palate Enter David Fairchild, a botanist who traveled the globe in search of food items that American farmers could grow that would then provide choices to the American eater.Daniel Stone has written an incredibly detailed and insightful book based on David Fairchild s journeys Love kale, mangos, avocados, pomegranates and hundreds of other crops You can thank Mr Fairchild Mr Stone used Mr.Fairchild s extensive notes to bring his journeys in the 19th and 20th centuries to life World travel was much complex than what we are used to today and David had many epic adventures In addition, he had to fight our government s reluctance to bring non native plants to America There are so many interesting stories about the foods we as a co...

  5. says:

    This was an unexpected gem of a book It s the story of David Fairchild, an American botanist who traveled the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to find plants and fruits that were unknown in America He sent cuttings and seeds back home to the U.S Department of Agriculture so that the specimens could be studied and possibly transplanted and who knows, maybe become popular And in fact, that happened many times, and explains how we happen to enjoy avocados and kale and quinces and mangoes and different varieties of lemons and grains and much The story of a botanist does not sound intrinsically fascinating to me, but Fairchild s enthusiasm for plants and for world travel and adventure helped carbonate the story And his friendship with Barbour Lathrop was the other ingredient that turned The Food Explorer ...

  6. says:

    We have only one life to live and we want to spend it enriching our own country with the plants of the world which produce good things to eat and to look at This is the next pick for my local bookclub and even though I had to fight the eBook hold lists at the library, I was able to get to it before we meet It is a fascinating tale of many of the foods grown and consumed in America today, all because of this one man who ventured out and collected seeds and cuttings from around the world My unfortunate husband got to hear a lot of tiny bits that I found fascinating I m looking forward to our discussion, especially since many of the people in the book club went to a talk with the author.What about how he tried breaking quinoa to the states but people didn t get it, and it took ten decades for...

  7. says:

    Just about every time you eat a fruit, vegetable or just something exciting that came from the earth, not was killed for you or by you, you have David Fairchild to thank And no one even knows about him or at least not enough and I m so glad there s now this book to educate and finally give credit where credit s due For any discriminate palate, every vegetarian, anyone who likes or loves food, David Fairchild is The Man Tirelessly traveling the globe and collecting fruits and vegetables and these will actually be redefined for you by this book too and plants to liven, broaden and expand America s palate He wasn t the only one, but he was the initiator, the man with the idea and later a plan, who set it all in motion Nowadays it wouldn t work, of course, we ve discovered much of what is out there to eat, did some food based math how difficult is it to cultivate how well will it be liked and got a variety But back in the day, late 19th early 20th century, the market was begging for some diversity Just like America was built on immigrants the fact so often conveniently forgotten , American diets were built on and dramatically improved by delicious exports from all over the world Otherwise it would just be meat and some local crops, how s that for a fad diet Nutrition and vitamin depleted blandness permeated kitchens and dining tables across the US and David Fairchild changed it It s pretty awesome to think about Avocados, kale, citruses so many tasty...

  8. says:

    Wow I am not normally a voracious page turner of non fiction, but this one did it for me.This is the true story of David Fairchild, a man who was responsible for immeasurably enriching America s agriculture Does that sound dull It s not If you re like me, you love food If you re like me, you maybe also consider yourself fairly willing to try new things and food of different ethnicities BUT, none of us can escape that we are probably pretty complacent about the foods we have grown up with, the foods we assume belong to our people and our lifestyle These foods somehow seem to just naturally have pride of place on our menu, and that s just the way it is, and they re normal, and everything else, while interesting and maybe delicious, is slightly exotic and outside Wrong.When I learned, from this book, how much painstaking work and passion went into importing new plants into America plants that produce food we now take for granted I was in awe When I realized what an absolute lottery of chance it was that certain plants found success in the United States and other plants never quite got a proper opportunity due to accident or poor timing, I was confounded My exciting, profound takeaway from this book is that there is SO MUCH food out there and given a slight alteration in history or policy, ALL of it could have been MY normal If this doesn t change the way you look at food, and enhance your willingness to try all types, then nothing will.Th...

  9. says:

    Absolutely fascinating I came to this book absolutely clueless about its contents beyond what s on the cover A GR friend had added it to her want to read shelf, the cover looked interesting, and my library had it.Once in my hands I dove right in and barely came up for air until I had finished There is so much to enjoy here the author has a deft story telling style and the story itself is full of action, intrigue, politics, and history David Fairchild, our hero, left behind a copious archive of written material field notes, letters, articles and photographs, so our author had no shortage of source materials The photographs are especially fascinating.I really don t want to say too much, as I would like readers to have that chance of coming upon something unexpected However, I will say that Fairchild did his plant exploring in the 1890s and the early 1900s a time when the US Department of Agriculture was actively looking for new, commercially viable crops for US farmer...

  10. says:

    While this is an intriguing story, I don t know that Stone does it justice with his writing.

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