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Distributed for Reaktion Books

True to the Land

A History of Food in Australia

Distributed for Reaktion Books

True to the Land

A History of Food in Australia

Spanning 65,000 years, this book provides a history of food in Australia from its beginnings, with the arrival of the first peoples and their stewardship of the land, to a present where the production and consumption of food is fraught with anxieties and competing priorities. It describes how food production in Australia is subject to the constraints of climate, water, and soil, leading to centuries of unsustainable agricultural practices post-colonization. Australian food history is also the story of its xenophobia and the immigration policies pursued, which continue to undermine the image of Australia as a model multicultural society. This history of Australian food ends on a positive note, however, as Indigenous peoples take increasing control of how their food is interpreted and marketed.

352 pages | 80 color plates, 30 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Foods and Nations

Food and Gastronomy


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Reviews

"A thorough examination of Australia’s culinary history. . . . Divided into ten chapters and organized historically, the book describes the foodways of the first peoples, the colonization of Australia, during wartime and between wars, Federation, post-colonialism and modernity; it ends with the themes of Australia as a foodie nation and millennial reckonings. . . . A skillfully written overview of Australian food history, detailing the evolution of Australian foodways and agriculture while acknowledging the contributions of the many cultures that make up contemporary Australia."

Digestible Bits and Bites

"Ambitiously evaluates the foodways of this land over 65,000 years... I highly recommend True to the Land to the general public, university students of food history, school teachers and academics. This food history is also relevant to researchers on Australian history, colonial history and cultural and social histories."

The Conversation

"A comprehensive history of the food of Australia, from its beginning with the First Nations people 60,000 years ago to 2020."

John Newton, author of "The Oldest Foods on Earth: A History of Australian Native Foods"

"A masterful overview of Australian food history and foodways, including their social and political implications and the influences of scientific and technological advances. From millennia-old fish traps to television’s MasterChef Australia, by way of damper and mutton, lamingtons and Anzacs, it charts the evolution of Australian food and agriculture, acknowledging the contributions of the many cultures that make up contemporary Australia."

Barbara Santich, professor emeritus, University of Adelaide

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