In this concise yet detailed history of man's attempts to provide food for times of need, Ms.Shephard describes all the usual, and some very unusual methods of preserving food.
In chapters devoted to each particular method, she details how, by trial and error and by observation, people have discovered ways of extending the life of foodstuffs well past the natural sell-by date.
This leads to the means by which explorers could subsist independently of the land or sea they were travelling in, thus expanding the boundaries of trade and colonisation.
However, some of the preserving methods brought their attendant disadvantages, such as vitamin deficiencies, like scurvy or pellagra - the ways of combating these are also dealt with in the book.
Ms.Shephard writes in a comfortable, informative style that is neither dumbing-down, nor patronising, but with clear, logical progression within the particular subject - with the occasional illuminating aside to spice things up.
Drawing heavily on historical accounts, she has meticulously researched the subject and presented us with a fine addition to any amateur historian's library.
A very worthwhile read *****