Summary and book reviews of Anything That Moves by Dana Goodyear

Anything That Moves

Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture

By Dana Goodyear

Anything That Moves
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2013,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: 4 Nov 2014,
    272 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Book Summary

A new American cuisine is forming. Animals never before considered or long since forgotten are emerging as delicacies. Parts that used to be for scrap are centerpieces. Ash and hay are fashionable ingredients, and you pay handsomely to breathe flavored air. Going out to a nice dinner now often precipitates a confrontation with a fundamental question: Is that food?

Dana Goodyear's anticipated debut, Anything That Moves, is simultaneously a humorous adventure, a behind-the-scenes look at, and an attempt to understand the implications of the way we eat. This is a universe populated by insect-eaters and blood drinkers, avant-garde chefs who make food out of roadside leaves and wood, and others who serve endangered species and Schedule I drugs - a cast of characters, in other words, who flirt with danger, taboo, and disgust in pursuit of the sublime. Behind them is an intricate network of scavengers, dealers, and pitchmen responsible for introducing the rare and exotic into the marketplace. This is the fringe of the modern American meal, but to judge from history, it will not be long before it reaches the family table.

Anything That Moves is a highly entertaining, revelatory look into the raucous, strange, fascinatingly complex world of contemporary American food culture, and the places where the extreme is bleeding into the mainstream.

Denying someone's humanity based on what they eat is a form xenophobia. In America, it can also be sibling rivalry. When Jonathan Gold got back from Korea, in the fall of 2008, he published a piece about eating whale in Ulsan, a port city in the south. "I am surprised to discover that the whale is delicious, leaner than beef, with a rich, mineral taste and a haunting, almost waxy aftertaste that I can't quite place," he wrote. "I am already anticipating the nasty glare I will inevitably get from my marine-scientist brother, Mark, who as the leader of Heal the Bay has dedicated his life to pretty much the opposite of this. I swear: I'll never eat whale again. Mark responded, on the Weekly's Letters page:

Bro — now you've crossed the line. For far too long, you have been chowing down on every marine critter I've spent my life protecting, from shark's fin soup to live prawns to bluefin to wild?caught sturgeon (largely ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

Anything That Moves is a winning and delicious account of avant-garde American cuisine. Many of these chapters have been cobbled together from The New Yorker and occasionally the book lacks a tight coherence. It’s subtitle - Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture - tries to remedy this lapse somewhat but doesn’t completely succeed. Nevertheless Anything That Moves is reporting at its best and deserves a wide and enthusiastic audience.   (Reviewed by Poornima Apte).

Full Review Members Only (1202 words).

Media Reviews
Barnes and Noble

[Goodyear will] make you rethink what we eat and what we think about food - which, attentive readers might conclude, is the central point of the book.

Slate

Food editors need people like [Dana Goodyear]. Anyone who can write so wisely and entertainingly about eating rarities is a rarity herself.

Newsweek

It is precisely because I am not a foodie that I found such immense pleasure in reading Dana Goodyear's Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture. It was like reading Bruce Chatwin on Patagonia or Ryszard Kapuscinski on Ethiopia, maybe even Norman Mailer on war. I don't want to be there, but I want to have already been there.

The Los Angeles Times

Goodyear is a witty writer with a sly humor that makes her a genial guide to such a strange and diverse counterculture.

Booklist

Goodyear steers readers to the farthest boundaries of the food universe.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Goodyear's exploration of this engrossing and morally complex topic provides a solid footing for hearty conversations.

Author Blurb Adam Gopnik
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.

Author Blurb Andrew Zimmern
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.

Author Blurb Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed our Most Alluring Fruit
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.

Author Blurb Tom Mueller, New York Times-bestselling author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
Finally the 'foodie movement' finds a voice I trust...This book has permanently changed my view of the plate, by revealing the politics, culture, sex, and crime that lie behind.

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The Raw Food Movement

RawesomeOne of the avant-garde trends in American cuisine explored in Anything That Moves is the growth of the raw food movement. Raw foodists believe that cooking destroys critical enzymes from food needed for good health and digestion. So everything - milk, meat, vegetables, grains - is consumed raw. Special co-ops around the country deliver these raw foods to consumers often flying under the radar because the laws that govern selling unpasteurized dairy vary from state to state. Rawesome is one such co-op in Los Angeles which is profiled in Anything That Moves. Its director, James Stewart, often sets up the sales from a parking lot. Included in the offerings are all kinds of raw meats including bison. Rawesome has been shut down twice by health ...

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