Taste of War

Lizzie Collingham, author of The Taste of War where she

seeks to understand the role of food at the heart of the conflict. The focus on food is not intended to exclude other interpretations but rather to add an often overlooked dimension to our understanding of the Second World War.

food fightWe may never know what goes ‘at the heart’ of conflict and war but food is actually a good clue. It is the ‘often overlooked dimension’ of food to our understanding of the way we live and work that can explain and unravel the mystery.

Wars are always the outcome of shifting powers. As a power is edged out another moves in. The triggers are land and resources. Wars are an acquired taste. Whole economies depend on them. Other, and perhaps more noticeable, telltale signs are urbanisation and the abandonment of the working countryside, cash crop economies, use of pesticides and organophosphates, the patenting of life or seed piracy, felling of forests, and then generally a consistent assault on plants and the ecosystem. Hunger, famine, malnutrition and food deprivation are various forms of acts of war and inhumanity. Poor diets, eating disorders and heart diseases are also the signs of the same malaise. We have a fight on our hands. To conclude appropriately, for Tim Lang and Michael Heasman ‘There is some way to go in the Food Wars before there is Food Peace.’