Tasty, lethal, hallucinogenic, and medicinal – fruits have led nations into wars, fueled dictatorships, and even lured us into new worlds. Adam Leith Gollner weaves business, science, and travel into a riveting narrative about one of earth’s most desired foods.
Readers will discover why even though countless exotic fruits exist in nature, only several dozen varieties are vailable in supermarkets. Gollner explores the political machinations of multinational fruit corporations, exposing the hidden alliances between agribusiness and government and what that means for public health. He traces the life of mass-produced fruits – how they are created, grown, and marketed, and he explores the underworld of fruits that are inaccessible, ignored, and even forbidden in the Western world.
Gollner draws readers into a Willy Wonka-like world with mangoes that taste like piña coladas, orange cloudberries, peanut butter fruits, and the miracle fruit that turns everything sour sweet, making lemons taste like lemonade. Peopled with a varied and bizarre cast of characters – from smugglers to explorers to inventors – this extraordinary book unveils the hidden universe of fruit.