The leading Brazilian food journalist Rafael Tonon has penned an engaging and entertaining new book, As Revoluções da Comida: O Impacto de Nossas Escolhas à Mesa', (Food Revolutions: The Impact of our Eating Choices), exposing the most important food revolutions that have shaped the way we eat today.
Four years in the making, the book leaves no stone unturned when it comes to in-depth research. The globe-trotting author traversed cities around the world, interviewing more than 40 scientists, philosophers, business people and chefs on his adventure, and visiting all nature of farms, and dining at many restaurants along the way.
Honing in on the biggest transformations in food in the past fifty years, Tonon explores the rise of fast food and the massification of food, as well as the creation of the Slow Food movement, chef influences and restaurant culture.
"The search for a deeper connection to agriculture generated the farm-to-table movement," Tonon explains. "I talked about my first time in a trattoria in Bergamo where I first heard about the 0km concept, I interviewed chef Dan Barber, I met a farmer who started marketing pieces of land where people could ask him what they wanted to grow and even talked about crowdfarming to explain our willing for a connection with the nature and the origin of food."
Tonon also undertook field research in restaurants, exploring how they have been key in transformative movements, evolving from serving good food to offer outstanding experiences. "I spent some days in Mugaritz’s kitchen to understand how such a high-end restaurant invests so much in R+D to create a new level of knowledge for its guests, and how it became the central role in the industry today."
Looking back on his journey, he says: "I love the chapter in which I try to unveil the invention of the restaurant from its very beginning in France (with the bouillon restaurant), to the many changes it has experienced in form and content until the present day. At first, these were places where people used to go to get healthy, get satisfied with the food, and get impressed by the experience."
It's a puzzle of historical and instrumental pieces that all make perfect sense as they come together on the page, and makes for essential reading for "anyone who thinks about the way they eat and how what they choose to put in their fridges and pantries can impact the planet, the society and more."
"Eating is a political, social, environmental, and ethical decision," says Tonon, and it lands at a time when the intersection of these is perhaps more powerful than ever.
The book is currently available in Portuguese, in Brazil and Portugal, through publisher todavialivros.com.br
Spanish and English copies should be available in the future.