Anything That Moves
Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of A New American Food CultureBook - 2013
In foodie America, eating is a dare, a sport, a challenge, and a way of life.
Crushed grasshopper salt rims the cocktail glasses, acclaimed chefs yearn to serve horse, and marijuana is just another flavor waiting to be explored. Anything That Moves , a riveting and highly anticipated nonfiction debut by New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear, is both an uproarious behind-the-scenes adventure and a serious attempt to understand the implications of an emergent new cuisine - one that flirts with danger, disgust, and taboo in search of the sublime.
Tracing the extreme foodie phenomenon from its little-known origins in the postwar period into the era of food-spoiltation television and social media, Goodyear introduces a cast of fascinating and unexpected characters who are changing the face of American eating. A raw dairy dealer risks jail in defiance of state and federal authorities; an undercover vegan activist eats endangered whale to help expose a high-end sushi bar. Intrepid middle-men scour the globe for ever more obscure ingredients, from domestic food-grade hog stomachs to wild-picked Queen Anne's lace and manna from Iran.
America's foodie avant-garde is boldly expanding the definition of edibility, often in spite of century-old regulations and established social norms. In a country where a highly specialized and narrow diet has long prevailed - to the detriment of the environment and individual health - the least squeamish among us are proposing previously unthinkable alternatives. In many cases, these alternatives are drawn from the world's most resourceful traditional cuisines - cuisines shaped and honed by poverty - even as those cultures rapidly modernize and embrace the problematic twentieth-century American diet.
Entering America's most celebrated restaurant kitchens and exploring the underground markets and economies that thrive just beneath notice, Goodyear reveals the strange, complex, and surprisingly wild side of contemporary food culture as no one has done before. Her lively and entertaining narrative provides a historical and cultural frame-work, linking the birth of the gourmet industry to the advent of extreme eating, and makes sense of a gathering movement that may ultimately affect the way all Americans eat. In the tradition of writers such as Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and M. F. K. Fisher, she looks at what we eat and tells us who we are. What emerges is a picture of America at a moment of transition, driven by anxiety but infused with a spirit of experimentation, designing the future as it reimagines the past.
Praise for Anything That Moves
'In Anything That Moves , Dana Goodyear takes as her subject the outer edges and extremes of American food culture and shows us, with grace, quiet humor, and poetic precision, how closely the weird mirrors the typical. Reporting on the margins of food culturd, she reveals much abot the broader comedy of manners and morals in American life.' Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First- Family, France, and the Meaning of Food and Paris to the Moon
'Dana Goodyear takes us on a wild romp through the fringes of today's extreme dining scene. The journey is exciting, eye-opening, a little scary at times, and always fascinating. I couldn't put Anything That Moves down.' Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland- How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
'Dana Goodyear is one of the most complete and authoritative voices in food journalism today. Anything That Moves so accurately describes the remaking of our modern food culture in America that I swear I can taste it. An important book and a delightfully fun read. I loved this book!' Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zi