In the last century, we have lived – and eaten – through the most dramatic shifts ever experienced in food and agriculture. The changes are insidious: buried in the soil, tucked in beehives and hidden in cattle feedlots. They start with microorganisms invisible to the naked eye and echo through every link in our food chain – from soil to seed to pollinator, from plant to fish to animal – compromising every part of the system that makes food possible.
While conservationists are well aware of this loss, many are unaware that 95 percent of the world’s calories now come from only 30 species, and a closer look at the cornucopia of grocery store options reveals that our foods are primarily made up of only three foods: corn, wheat and rice. Diverse foods all over the world are being replaced with monodiets of monocrops. The most delicious, diverse varieties of food, are being lost—slowly and irrevocably—alongside traditional methods of cultivation and preparation.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love – part memoir of a journey to six continents in pursuit of delicious and endangered tastes, part investigation of the loss of agricultural biodiversity from soil to plate – tells the story of what we are losing, how we are losing it, and the inspiring and tireless people and places that are bringing back the foods we love.
Join award-winning journalist Simran Sethi as she travels from wild coffee forests in Ethiopia to cocoa plantations of Ecuador, from the brewery to the bakery and the temple, to meet scientists, breeders, farmers, chefs, wine makers, beer brewers, coffee roasters and chocolate connoisseurs to discuss the reasons for this loss and learn what it means to experience food in a whole new way, tasting foods more deeply through each one of our senses in order to savor – and save – the foods we love.
The book also includes a comprehensive listing of the drivers of change in agricultural biodiversity, co-written by Luigi Guarino from the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Stefano Padulosi of Bioversity International and Paul Boettcher of FAO.
Bread, Wine, Chocolate will be released by HarperCollins Publishers on November 10, 2015. Learn more at simransethi.com/breadwinechocolate. Pre-order the book today and subscribe to the mailing list to receive previews and updates.