Food: One Man's Meat

A matter of custom

Locusts and termites are unlikely candidates for an American dinner menu, but they are high-protein foods that nourish many Africans who, argues Anthropologist Marvin Harris, make such choices by preference that developed from necessity. Seemingly bizarre culinary customs are revealed as plain common sense by the author in an insightful and intriguing new book, Good to Eat (Simon & Schuster; $17.95). Citing economic, ecological and health considerations as forerunners of religious, folkloric and even social eating customs, Harris writes, "When India's Hindus spurn beef, Jews and Moslems abominate pork, and Americans barely avoid retching at the thought of dog stew ....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!