First Bite: How We Learn to Eat (Paperback)

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“Food scholar Wilson explores not only how our food habits are shaped and the origins of our tastes, but also the problems we have with our present diet and how we can change our palates to lead healthier lives. Entertaining, informative, and packed with food wisdom, First Bite belongs on the shelves of food lovers, history buffs, and all fans of good writing.”
— Linda Bond (E), Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA


"Carefully crafted, astutely served, delicious, and nourishing: First Bite is a real treat." --Wall Street Journal

In First Bite, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists and neuroscientists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a host of factors: family and culture, memory and gender, hunger and love. Taking the reader on a journey across the globe, Wilson introduces us to people who can only eat foods of a certain color, an anosmia sufferer who has no memory of the flavor of her mother's cooking, and researchers who have pioneered new ways to persuade children to try new vegetables. An exploration of the surprising origins of our tastes, First Bite shows us how we can change our palates to lead healthier, happier lives.

About the Author

Bee Wilson is an acclaimed food writer, historian, and author. The author of numerous books, including Consider the Fork, Wilson lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Praise For…

A Wall Street Journal Book of the Year

"First Bite is a feast of a book."—Financial Times

"An anthropological category killer on the topic of how we learn to eat."—New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating new book.... [Bee Wilson's] message is a hopeful, even liberating, one."—Washington Post

"A brilliant, heartfelt book about [the] crisis in our contemporary diet.... Wilson is intelligent, passionate, sincere, tirelessly curious and endlessly willing to admit mistakes and learn from experience."—London Review of Books

"Delightful.... The well-meaning experts lecture us about what we ought to eat; Wilson wants to understand why we eat what we do."—Guardian (UK)

"Wilson sprinkles just enough personal narrative through First Bite to establish her as a sympathetic figure without turning the book into a memoir.... Her tone is refreshingly loose and friendly; she's one of the few scholars I can think of who can effectively quote both Margaret Mead and Homer Simpson."—Washington Post

"Wilson lays out her discoveries in a series of easily digestible chapters that balance science and anecdote with short interludes on various foods.... Her tone is down-to-earth and research-based at once, gentle, encouraging, no-nonsense."—Boston Globe

"Absorbing read...timely."—Los Angeles Review of Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9780465094127
ISBN-10: 0465094120
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: November 8th, 2016
Pages: 360
Language: English