Gandhi’s Search for the Perfect Diet
Eating with the World in Mind
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
264 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 10 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295744964
- Published: March 2020
Mahatma Gandhi redefined nutrition as fundamental to building a more just world. What he chose to eat was intimately tied to his beliefs, and his key values of nonviolence, religious tolerance, and rural sustainability developed in tandem with his dietary experiments. His repudiation of sugar, chocolate, and salt expressed his active resistance to economies based on slavery, indentured labor, and imperialism.
Gandhi’s Search for the Perfect Diet sheds new light on important periods in Gandhi’s life as they relate to his developing food ethic: his student years in London, his politicization as a young lawyer in South Africa, the 1930 Salt March challenging British colonialism, and his fasting as a means of self-purification and social protest during India’s struggle for independence. What became the pillars of Gandhi’s diet—vegetarianism, limiting salt and sweets, avoiding processed food, and fasting—anticipated many twenty-first-century food debates and the need to build healthier and more equitable global food systems.
[Slate] finds a new angle on one of the most consequential leaders of the last century, and then he fills in that angle with nuts and milk and fruit. You don’t see many portraits like this one, constructed out of all the food that made the man.~Seattle Review of Books
A marvelous and well-written book.~Food Anthropology
This illustration is so simple, yet so clever. It’s so striking and playful.~Spine Magazine
[A] deft and careful exploration of the philosophical underpinnings of Gandhi’s dietary views.~Journal of Asian Studies
[D]eep, wise book about the eating life of one of the moral giants of the modern world.~Arab News
Brings a new perspective to a familiar figure through an investigation of the archive of diet.~New Books Network
Will be of significant interest to Gandhi scholars and to those with a commitment to exploring the ethics, sociology, and history of food.~Choice