Tandoh on eating well

We accept the lie that there is a perfect way of eating that will save your soul and send you careering blithely through your 80s, into your 90s and beyond. Do what you want, we’re told – but you’ll die if you get it wrong. I don’t want you to feel this way. Food shouldn’t…

A bellyful of oysters

In 1798 I was at Versailles as a commissioner of the Directory, and had fairly frequent dealings with Monsieur Laperte, who was secretary to the tribunal of the department. He was extremely fond of oysters and used to complain of having never eaten enough of them, or, as he put it, ‘had his bellyful of…

Raymond Tallis on hunger

“The complex history of humanity and of our individual lives is most essentially the history of our hungers, and our endeavours to satisfy them. Our accidental and accident-prone lives begin not with a cry of joy, or surprise at our existence, but of need. From our first breath to our last we are enclosed in…

Food as biography

Laura Shapiro’s book What She Ate demonstrates a fact: food provides a window into our lives. Indeed, food can shed light on issues of identity, longing, fear, and need. While biography may traditionally treat what’s on the plate as incidental, Shapiro’s work does not. “Food happens every day,” she argues. “It’s intimately associated with all…

Christian weight loss books

I’ve been collating titles of Christian dieting books for a while now. Not just for fun, nor to make fun of them, but as part of a small research project. The earliest I’ve found is Charlie Shed’s 1957 ‘Pray Your Weight Away’. If you know of any I’ve missed, I would love to hear.

On food fundamentalists

It’s no secret … I like food. There’s not much I’d rather do than cook and eat. And in between to think and read about it. I love recipe books and restaurant guides. I even relish weighty books on the anthropology, psychology and theology of food. But one thing I cannot stomach is a diet…