Book Reviews

Seven Grains of Paradise

The author is a journalist, anthropologist, development researcher/writer, and Senior Fellow with the independent think tank of the Oakland institute and tells the story of poverty, hardship, and exploitation of Africa.

She is, a long-time traveller and consultant in Africa, tells a fascinating story of many kinds African foods.

This vast continent has rich farming traditions, intricate cuisines, and multitude of food cultures.

In this highly informative book the author tells eloquently about her experiences in farms, markets, restaurants, and kitchens.

She also delves into history and points out how European countries dominated and exploited the rich natural resources in sub-Saharan countries.

Christian missionaries have been active in Africa since the 15th century and helped convert millions to Christianity, but not always beneficial to some Africans.

Now, with international trade evolution, corporate food giants have managed to infiltrate local agriculture in an attempt to export surplus food to poor African countries. This EU taxpayer subsidized food is exported at well below cost and local small-scale, family operated African farmers cannot compete, which literally ruins them.

Can you imagine Nestle, one of the largest food conglomerates of the world, selling nutritionally worthless Magi (a food flavouring product) to millions in Africa, merely by advertising in thousands of publications, or the Netherlands exporting cooking inions to Sierra Leone. As a result of such idiotic policies millions had to abandon their small farms and settle in large cities in an attempt to find work and to subsist.

Corporate food conglomerates both in the U S A and European countries have contributed to such tragic developments.

She tells the story of a president who embarked on a  mission to encourage  the population to become food self-sufficient, but was ultimately assassinated by unidentified secret service organizations  who were persuaded to undertake such a heinous act by unscrupulous company executives.

Don’t expect to find many recipes in this highly informative and eye-opening book, but be prepared to learn how colonial powers impoverished whole regions in Africa and elsewhere in the world

You will also learn that eating habits in Africa differ significantly from western industrial societies.

From the once fabled city of Timbuktu tone southern doge of the Saharan desert to the diamond fields of Sierra Leone, front eh Savannah of the northern Ghana tot eh rainforests of Central Africa readers wille xeprience a delightful jourtney of elarnign to eating and drinking of invigorating indigenous beverages brews, a  wines straight for the trees.

This is an eye-opening book that everyone should sturdy carefully to learn how so called advanced cutleries exploited and still exploit this natural rich continent.

Highly recommended.

 

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