The Seed Detective: Uncovering the Secret Histories of Remarkable Vegetables
Meet the Indiana Jones of vegetables and join him on his quest to save our heritage produce.
*Named BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme “Book of the Year”
*2023 GardenComm Media Awards Silver Laurel Medal of Achievement
*Longlisted for The Art of Eating Prize 2023
“The writing is rich . . . [This book] is a clarion call to think about our food in new ways and carefully consider where it comes from.”—New Scientist
Did you ever wonder how peas, kale, asparagus, beans, squash, and corn have ended up on our plates? Well, so did Adam Alexander.
Adam Alexander is The Seed Detective. His passion for vegetables was ignited when he tasted an unusual sweet pepper with a fiery heart while on a filmmaking project in Ukraine. Smitten by its flavor, Adam began to seek out local growers of endangered heritage and heirloom varieties in a mission to bring home seeds to grow, share, and return so that he could enjoy their delicious taste—and save them from being lost forever.
In The Seed Detective, Adam shares his own stories of seed hunting, with the origin stories behind many of our everyday food heroes. Taking us on a journey that began when we left the life of the hunter-gatherer to become farmers, he tells tales of globalization, political intrigue, colonization, and serendipity—describing how these vegetables and their travels have become embedded in our food cultures.
“We are a nation of vegetable growers and this book explores the wonderful world of rare and endangered heritage and heirloom vegetables – and why we must keep growing them and saving their seed, not only for our gardening and culinary pleasure, but to pass these stories on – vegetables are truly our history on a plate.”—The Seed Detective
paperback, 320 pages
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