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Ben Wurgaft & Merry White Author Talk • Ways of Eating: Exploring Food through History and Culture

Monday March 18 at 6:30 pm

A note about our in-store events:

We offer first come, first served seating in our shop. There will be overflow room outside if needed and the author will be mic'd. Everyone is welcome to attend.

You can pre-order a copy below for pick-up at the event or purchase copies on-site.


Ben Wurgaft is a writer and historian who has written widely on food, drink, philosophy, and the history of science and technology. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Swarthmore College. His work appears in a wide variety of publications, from The Times Literary Supplement to The Los Angeles Review of Books. His previous books include Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food and Thinking in Public: Strauss, Levinas, Arendt.

Merry White is an anthropologist who has written seven books on Japanese society, social policy, material culture and food, as well as two cookbooks, one recently republished in its 40th anniversary edition. She has also written many articles in magazines and newspapers on food and on Japan. Her B.A., M.A., and PhD are from Harvard University. She teaches at Boston University, and has received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government in recognition of her work in and on Japan.  Her previous books include Coffee Life in Japan and Perfectly Japanese: Making Families in an Era of Upheaval.<

Ways of Eating - Based on years of observation, ethnographic fieldwork, and countless shared meals, Wurgaft & White explore how our foods reach our plates and how every bite is part of a complex web of social meaning and value. With vivid storytelling, Panamanian coffee growers, medieval women beer makers, and Japanese knife forgers bring food practices to life. From the Venetian spice trade to the Columbian Exchange, from Roman garum to Vietnamese nớc chấm, from the origins of agriculture to contemporary debates over culinary authenticity, Wurgaft and White mix historical deep dives with food anthropology, add in personal vignettes and delicious details of food travels, and nourish you with new ways to understand food and the social rules that shape our meals.