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True to the Land: A History of Food in Australia

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-colonisation.

Australian food history is also the story of its xenophobia and the immigration policies pursued which continue to question the image of Australia as a model multicultural society though the history ends on a positive note as Indigenous peoples take increasing control of how their food is interpreted and marketed.

‘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, The University of Adelaide

About the author

Paul van Reyk is a food writer living in Sydney, Australia. He is a regular presenter at the Symposium of Australian Gastronomy.

Paul van Reyk
Published October 2021
352 pages 
234mm x 156mm
ISBN 9781789144062 

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