As a child, Carolyn Steel would wander amid the fragrant smells of her grandparents' Bournemouth hotel, and here, she suspects, was born her enchantment with the life that teems within buildings, which led her to train as an architect. How does food enter our homes? How is it cooked? How is waste disposed? Her hunger to learn more propels Hungry City, which follows food's fraught and fascinating journey to our kitchen tables.
Steele examines the relationship between food and place, believing that food can be a common language for describing the world's cities. Hungry City helps to show how, as Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, "The fate of nations depends on the way they eat." Rather than showing us as helpless victims of impersonal forces, Steel emphasises that we all have the power to choose the way we eat: we can make ethical purchases, demand government action, start composting; and thus we can help shape a healthy future world.