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Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World par [Rimas, Andrew, Fraser, Evan]
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Beef . . . is like the perfectly cooked steak, a rare thing. [It combines] intelligence with accessibility and superb research with genuine enthusiasm" (Simon Majumdar, author of Eat My Globe)

"This wonderful book gives us a greater understanding of the history - and importance - of cattle" (Todd English, chef and restaurateur)

"The cow is a universal symbol and a universal resource. Its myth and history, from its first high status to its final sorry state in today's intensive food culture, is richly researched and tenderly told" (The Times)

"The authors make a good case for their subject . . . a book which will make farmers and consumers shout alternately with rage and recognition" (Yorkshire Post)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The cow. The most industrious animal in the world. A beast central to human existence since time began, it has played a vital role in our history not only as a source of food, but also as a means of labor, an economic resource, an inspiration for art, and even as a religious icon. Prehistoric people painted it on cave walls; explorers, merchants, and landowners traded it as currency; many cultures worshipped it as a god. So how did it come to occupy the sorry state it does today—more factory product than animal?

In Beef, Andrew Rimas and Evan D. G. Fraser answer that question, telling the story of cattle in its entirety. From the powerful auroch, a now extinct beast once revered as a mystical totem, to the dairy cows of seventeenth-century Holland to the frozen meat patties and growth hormones of today, the authors deliver an engaging panoramic view of the cow's long and colorful history.

Peppered with lively anecdotes, recipes, and culinary tidbits, Beef tells a story that spans the globe, from ancient Mediterranean bullfighting rings to the rugged grazing grounds of eighteenth-century England, from the quiet farms of Japan's Kobe beef cows to crowded American stockyards to remote villages in East Africa, home of the Masai, a society to which cattle mean everything. Leaving no stone unturned in its exploration of the cow's legacy, the narrative serves not only as a compelling story but as a call to arms, offering practical solutions for confronting the current condition of the wasteful beef and dairy industries.

Beef is a captivating history of an animal whose relationship with humanity has shaped the world as we know it, and readers will never look at steak the same way again.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 756 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 258 pages
  • Editeur : HarperCollins e-books; Édition : Reprint (18 septembre 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001GBDC9S
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5 52 commentaires
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An offal good time 25 septembre 2008
Par Stephen Balbach - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
The sub-title of `Beef` hints of an "untold story". Actually, it turns out, there is not a single story, but many stories, each from 1 paragraph to a few pages long. These wide ranging mini stories, encyclopedic snippets really, are categorized into chapters along chronological order, from pre-history to the present. Such a presentation, without a central narrative, would not hold many readers attention, so the authors also took some trips to exotic locations and weave in travel tales related to beefy places and people. This is a standard creative non-fiction technique commonly found in books like Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History although the overall effect here is muted because there is no "mystery" to create tension. However we do get a few recipes, including how to make cheddar cheese.

The last chapter of the book is the best, from the 20th century to the present. It suggests the current industrialized methods of raising beef are unsustainable and the future will see changes. The earlier chapters about the history of beef are interesting, but prior to the 19th century, I found it somewhat meandering. It's not a scholarly or definitive treatment. I noticed a few mistakes; the authors use the term "Dark Ages", which has been largely deprecated by medieval historians; and they mistakenly use "sweetmeat" to refer to offal.(*)

Sort of like how a cow is made up of many cuts of beef, `Beef` is a a number of styles and techniques weaved together. History, travel, journalism, recipes. Some parts are more interesting than others, and it will largely depend on what the reader already knows and is interested in. It's a short book that can be read easily in a day (or cross USA plane trip).

(*) Sweetmeat is bread, sweetbread is meat. Strange as it sounds, the Oxford English Dictionary confirms it. Since I am reading an Advanced Readers Copy, this may be corrected in the final edition.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A mooooooo-ving "tail" 27 octobre 2008
Par Annie Van Auken - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
BEEF is not at all some detailed and dried-as-jerky story of the common cow. Instead, this work's authors weave a fascinating history of humankind and of our relationship to the animal that has dwelt with and given us sustenance since the dawn of time.

The chronicle of our mutual development over the millenia is interspersed with recipes both ancient and modern. The book also abounds with trivia:

Cows (bovids) are members of the same family as sheep, goats and gazelles.

The aurouchs, an elephantine and unmanageable beast that yielded a ton of meat and was the subject of cave wall hunting scenes in Lascaux, France, went extinct in the year 1627.

Contrary to Hollywood's depiction of whooping cowboys on cattle drives, men who work with herds speak in low tones, as sudden noise startles these creatures endowed with extra-sensitive hearing.

Our term "cattle" originated with Old French "chattel," the word for "property." Latin for cattle: "pecu," is the origin of "pecuniary," meaning: something of value. Old English "feo" (cow) has survived as "fee." The High German word for cattle is also Gothic for money.

The central figure of the Viking creation myth is a cow that licked at a block of salty ice until the man embedded within it appeared.

The Egyptians buried cows in their family graves long before they became grain farmers.

The Israelis of Biblical Exodus had a pantheon of gods-- "El" the bull was supreme; Yahweh merely one of his many sons. The Dead Sea Scrolls say that El led the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt. When Aaron crafted a golden calf while Moses was away, it was to placate a people intent on returning to their old habits of worship. The golden calf is also mentioned in 1 Kings.

Cheesemaking dates to the Sumerians, but it was the Romans who raised it to an art form. In the Dark Ages, cheese was used both as currency and the main source of protein for the poor. Muenster and Parmesan were developed in monasteries.

There's much more to be learned, including how modern selective breeding began, the origins of bull fighting, who the first cowboys were (Spaniards), and so on. If you're a history buff, collector of trivia or just one who appreciates well-written non-fiction, BEEF will satisfy your cerebral appetite.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Horns and Hoofs 3 octobre 2008
Par Michael Kear - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
This is a delightful history of cattle from ancient times until now. Well written and quite interesting not only for those who live in beef producing areas, but also for anyone who wants to know the historical background of the great American cheeseburger. I ordered this book because both of my grandfathers were cattlemen. I would have liked for the writers to spend a little more time on the lore of the west and the culture of the cowboy (which is why the book received 4 stars instead of 5). One of my favorite paragraphs in the whole book was on this subject of cowboy culture:

"Cowboys left a cultural legacy far disproportionate to their numbers, their acheivement, or their economic impact. To list all the cowboy movies, musical acts, clothing lines, and political apery would take a compendium of monstrous, even Texan, proportions, and to analyze its meaning would tax a rawhide Baudrillard. Suffice to say that in large parts of America, a Stetson is equivalent to a monk's tonsure - it's a badge of belief. Instead of believing in the holy apostolic church, though, its wearers believe in 'individualism,' in steel guitars, and in nostalgia for the open prairie." (page 167).

I wear my "tonsure" every day and this book is a good guide to the "apostolic succession" of those who wore it before me.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Where Do Cows Come From And Why Do I Love Steak So Much? 31 octobre 2008
Par Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Everything you could ever want to know about the history of cattle and our love affair with beef can be found in this book. As someone who has personally benefited from the consumption of lots of beef over the past five years losing 180 pounds and restoring my health, BEEF: THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW MILK, MEAT, AND MUSCLE SHAPED THE WORLD was a real eye-opener about the cherished and beloved history of this basic staple of most successful societies. I especially enjoyed the damnation the authors put on the current cattle industry for not reverting back to the old ways of raising cattle for food...something we so desperately need to get back to. Overall, I LOVED this book and think anyone--even vegetarians and vegans--should check it out!
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Informative and well-written history of beef 22 mai 2009
Par David J. Huber - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
I sat down to read this, and had a very difficult time putting it down.

This is an informative and well-researched history of beef, from the very beginnings of human domestication of animals way, way back in prehistoric times to modern day.

I am a big fan of beef - one of my favorite foods - and so this book is personally meaningful, simply to read about something that I love so much. But, as much as I love beef, I also realize that there is a huge environmental cost to it in our modern ways of raising it, and Rimas pulls no punches in speaking about what is a simple truth: eating beef (just as all foods) has a moral and ethical component to it, and we, as humans living in a limited world, have an ethical and moral responsibility to be mindful of what we are eating, how much of it, when, how, and why.

Rimas does not spend much time on the ethical or moral components of beef consumption, but does do enough to ensure that the reader - the ones whose minds are open to truth, anyway - will go away from this book thinking in new ways about beef. And not in a way that condemns beef or condemns meat eaters. In fact, Rimas is very much in favor of GOOD beef: the non-industrial, non-factory, organically raised beef (such as Kobe or Mishima beef, or the kind raised by my family in Wisconsin and elsewhere that spends much time in pasture, isn't hormoned and antibiotic-ed, and lives as natural a life as possible).

Beyond the wonderfully informative historical stuff about beef and cattle, Rimas' position is one of enjoying beef, preferably beef that is raised ethically, but enjoying it moderation.

I am a lover all books related to food history (Nathanael's Nutmeg, Cod, Salt, and so forth), and I give this five stars. This is a good one that stands very well along with the others.
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