Author: Bee Wilson
All the descriptions of the horrors of the past are just a set up. Once the reader is feeling morally superior in light of the poisonings and swindlings of a darker era, s/he is reminded of the considerable powers of the 21st century food industry to pull the wool over our eyes. From insufficiently regulated agriculture to indecipherable food labels, we average modern eaters have no better understanding of the mess that we shovel in our cake holes than did our ancestors. If anything, we are even further removed from the source of our food, leaving us more vulnerable.
Even with the doomsday warnings, Wilson's book is a highly engaging read. Somewhat surprisingly, it made me hungry. Perhaps less surprising, it encouraged me to involve myself more in the actual production of food in our home. Much of the discussion about the Middle Ages revolves around bread and, to a lesser extent, beer. Both are foods I have made myself and Swindled has fueled the inspiration to continue.