Review: The World in Your Lunch Box

The World in Your Lunch Box: The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods by Claire Eamer. Illustrated by Sa Boothroyd. Annick Press. 2012. Reviewed from copy from NetGalley. Nonfiction, middle grade.

It’s About: Typical lunches are used to explore the history of food.

The Good: As you may remember from my post about The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, I love learning about the history of food.

Aimed at a middle grade audience, The World in Your Lunch Box is to the point, providing quick facts and history. It’s a clever way to organize the information; instead of alphabetically, or by types of food, by typical lunches. I imagine the author had fun as she decided on what lunches to use! It’s quite interesting just how many foods are found in a week’s worth of food, and how much history can be learned, and how many cultures are represented.

The food covered ranges from ham to chicken, macaroni and cheese to peanuts, pita to chocolate. While some of it I knew, such as cheese, others were a surprise to me, such as mayonnaise. Eamer explains that it was first created in 1756  to celebrate the capture of Mahon on Minorca. Or sometimes things were phrased in a whole new way; I had never thought of honey as being bee vomit.

The World in Your Lunch Box has full color illustrations, making it a fun and vibrant read. I read it on my Nook Tablet, and I was impressed with how it looked.

For readers wanting more information, Eamer provides both further reading selections as well as a selected bibliography (alphabetical by author). There is also a very extensive index. My only quibble is how that bibliography is presented; I would have preferred either footnotes in the text or for the sources to be listed by chapter.

Be warned: this book will make you hungry!

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