Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food
Lenore Newman


Hardback | Oct 2019 | ECW Press | 9781770414358 | 304pp | 216x140mm | GEN | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99

A rollicking exploration of the history and future of our favorite foods

When we humans love foods, we love them a lot. In fact, we have often eaten them into extinction, whether it is the megafauna of the Paleolithic world or the passenger pigeon of the last century. Whether it’s chasing down the luscious butter of local Icelandic cattle or looking at the impacts of modern industrialized agriculture on the range of food varieties we can put in our shopping carts, Newman’s bright, intelligent gaze finds insight and humor at every turn. 

Bracketing the chapters that look at the history of our relationship to specific foods, Lenore enlists her ecologist friend and fellow cook, Dan, in a series of “extinction dinners” designed to recreate meals of the past or to illustrate how we might be eating in the future. Part culinary romp, part environmental wake-up call, Lost Feast makes a critical contribution to our understanding of food security today. You will never look at what’s on your plate in quite the same way again.

'Newman’s jaunts through the animal kingdom alternate with themed meals with her friend Dan as she ponders how historical extinctions are linked to our current food systems, what we can do about it, and how humans must follow the example of the famed New York ‘pizza rat,’ and adapt to the food that comes their way.' — Booklist

'Edifying and entertaining...Never didactic and cautiously optimistic, Newman recognizes that there is hard work ahead to recalibrate the North American diet. She builds a compelling case for us human superpredators to rethink our food choices, and to be healthier for the environment and our fellow inhabitant species. Lost Feast is enjoyable reading about a serious topic.' — Foreword Reviews

'Free-wheeling look at the flora and fauna we’ve eaten into oblivion.' — Toronto Star