Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture
by Dana Goodyear
(Riverhead Books, 2013, 262 pages)
This is a book about foodies who are obsessed with extreme food. Goodyear journeys through some unusual dining experiences on the East Coast, West Coast and in Las Vegas. If you think you are a foodie and a food adventurer, think again! This book certainly opened my eyes. In one chapter Goodyear introduces readers to entomophagy: human consumption of insects. We learn how to catch, prepare, cook, and eat insects. I was surprised to find out that in most parts of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, insect eating is common.
Goodyear explains there are a number of restaurants that serve exotic food such as live octopus, testicles, organs, and shark’s fin soup. But she also takes readers to places that are not open to the public that cook and serve endangered species and wild animals. I enjoyed most chapters. Goodyear’s lively writing style makes it easy for readers to visualize the food. That’s a good thing in most cases. I did get grossed out a few times. Animal cruelty is covered as well. In order to produce buttery foie gras, more food is fed to geese and ducks in order to deposit large amounts of fat in the liver. I knew that, but it’s sad to read about it and know that this force-feed method is widely used.
A pleasant surprise was the coverage of the history of the FDA and the pasteurization of milk in the early 1900s. Anything That Moves is an entertaining and informative book for foodies with a strong stomach and an open mind.