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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Selection

“An intense and illuminating travelogue...offer[ing] a corrective to the patriarchal white gaze promoted by globetrotting eaters like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern. La Cerva combines environmental history with feminist memoir to craft a narrative that's more in tune with recent works by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Helen Macdonald and Elizabeth Rush.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Two centuries ago, nearly half the North American diet was foraged, hunted, or caught in the wild. Today, so-called “wild foods” are becoming expensive luxuries, served to the wealthy in top restaurants. Meanwhile, people who depend on wild foods for survival and sustenance find their lives forever changed as new markets and roads invade the world’s last untamed landscapes.

In Feasting Wild, geographer and anthropologist Gina Rae La Cerva embarks on a global culinary adventure to trace our relationship to wild foods. Throughout her travels, La Cerva reflects on how colonialism and the extinction crisis have impacted wild spaces, and reveals what we sacrifice when we domesticate our foods - including biodiversity, Indigenous and women’s knowledge, a vital connection to nature, and delicious flavors. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, La Cerva investigates the violent “bush meat” trade, tracking elicit delicacies from the rainforests of the Congo Basin to the dinner tables of Europe. In a Danish cemetery, she forages for wild onions with the esteemed staff of Noma. In Sweden - after saying good-bye to a man known only as The Hunter - La Cerva smuggles freshly caught game meat home to New York in her suitcase, for a feast of “heartbreak moose”.

Thoughtful, ambitious, and wide-ranging, Feasting Wild challenges us to take a closer look at the way we eat today, and introduces an exciting new voice in food journalism.

“A memorable, genre-defying work that blends anthropology and adventure.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, New York Times best-selling author of The Sixth Extinction)

“A food book with a truly original take.” (Mark Kurlansky, New York Times best-selling author of Salt: A World History)

©2020 Gina Rae La Cerva (P)2021 Greystone Books

Critic Reviews

“Delves into not only what we eat around the world, but what we once ate and what we have lost since then.” (A New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Selection)

“La Cerva’s beautifully written narrative is as tantalizing as it is edifying.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Gina Rae La Cerva’s engrossing book celebrates wild-harvested food but also mourns it, showing how plentiful staples have dwindled time and again to overexploited luxuries. Mixing memoir, travelogue, and environmental history, Feasting Wild is a lyrical and lucid exploration of hunger and fulfillment, richly detailed and beautifully told.” (Thor Hanson, author of Buzz and The Triumph of Seeds)

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.