With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat It:Chemical Ecology and the Origins of Human Diet and Medicine

With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat It:Chemical Ecology and the Origins of Human Diet and Medicine
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作者:
1990-09
ISBN: 9780816510238
装帧: 平装
  • People have always been attracted to foods rich in calories, fat and protein, yet the biblical admonition that meat be eaten "with bitter herbs" suggests that unpalatable plants play an important role in our diet. So-called primitive peoples show a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of how their bodies interact with plant chemicals, which may allow us to rediscover the origins of diet by retracing the paths of biology and culture. The domestication of the potato serves as the focus of Timothy Johns' interdisciplinary study, which forges a synthesis of ethnobotany and chemical ecology. The Aymara of highland Bolivia have long used varieties of potato containing potentially toxic levels of glycoalkaloids, and Johns proposes that such plants can be eaten without harm, owing to human genetic modification and cultural manipulation. Drawing on additional fieldwork in Africa, he considers the evolution of the human use of plants, the ways in which humans obtain foods from among the myriad poisonous and unpalatable plants in the environment, and the consequences of this history for understanding the basis of the human diet. Dr. Johns is a Professor of Human Nutrition at McGill University. Prof. Johns is an ethnobotanist and nutritionist whose research interests focus on the traditional uses of plants for food and medicine in relation to issues of contemporary nutrition and health, the understanding of human adaptation in diverse environments and the evolutionary origins of diet and medicine. His work involves field studies with communities in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada in conjunction with laboratory analysis of chemical composition and medicinal properties of plants. His current work includes international policy and  program activities on dietary diversity that seek to strengthen linkages between biodiversity conservation and nutrition and health. He is an author of over 130 peer-reviewed publications as well as three books including With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat it: Chemical Ecology and the Origins of Human Diet and Medicine (University of Arizona Press).Dr. Johns graduated in Biochemistry from McMaster University and completed a Master’s degree in Botany from the University of British Columbia. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Michigan before carrying out postdoctoral work at the University of California Berkeley. He is a member and former Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment at McGill. He is a Past-President of the International Society of Ethnobiology and the Society for Economic Botany.
  • 内容简介:
    People have always been attracted to foods rich in calories, fat and protein, yet the biblical admonition that meat be eaten "with bitter herbs" suggests that unpalatable plants play an important role in our diet. So-called primitive peoples show a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of how their bodies interact with plant chemicals, which may allow us to rediscover the origins of diet by retracing the paths of biology and culture. The domestication of the potato serves as the focus of Timothy Johns' interdisciplinary study, which forges a synthesis of ethnobotany and chemical ecology. The Aymara of highland Bolivia have long used varieties of potato containing potentially toxic levels of glycoalkaloids, and Johns proposes that such plants can be eaten without harm, owing to human genetic modification and cultural manipulation. Drawing on additional fieldwork in Africa, he considers the evolution of the human use of plants, the ways in which humans obtain foods from among the myriad poisonous and unpalatable plants in the environment, and the consequences of this history for understanding the basis of the human diet.
  • 作者简介:
    Dr. Johns is a Professor of Human Nutrition at McGill University. Prof. Johns is an ethnobotanist and nutritionist whose research interests focus on the traditional uses of plants for food and medicine in relation to issues of contemporary nutrition and health, the understanding of human adaptation in diverse environments and the evolutionary origins of diet and medicine. His work involves field studies with communities in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada in conjunction with laboratory analysis of chemical composition and medicinal properties of plants. His current work includes international policy and  program activities on dietary diversity that seek to strengthen linkages between biodiversity conservation and nutrition and health. He is an author of over 130 peer-reviewed publications as well as three books including With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat it: Chemical Ecology and the Origins of Human Diet and Medicine (University of Arizona Press).Dr. Johns graduated in Biochemistry from McMaster University and completed a Master’s degree in Botany from the University of British Columbia. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Michigan before carrying out postdoctoral work at the University of California Berkeley. He is a member and former Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment at McGill. He is a Past-President of the International Society of Ethnobiology and the Society for Economic Botany.
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