This, for many years the leader in its field, is still a book worth reading. It is not a cookery book; it is a study of the role of food and food crops in the development of human society and history.
Unfortunately, it contains some errors and some of its assertions have been superceded by more modern research. At times the treatment is a little cavalier in style. A lot of the information seems to have been taken from a far better and more interesting book, The Englishman's Food: Five Centuries of English Diet By H Drummond. It is an excellent introduction to the subject however. There are a number of useful illustrations.
It is described on the back as "a standard work", and I can well believe it. It is both comprehensive and very well written. From the pre-historic world to the present it covers aspects of the growth, production, consumption, nutritional value and trade of food in many parts of the world, showing also the social and historical circumstances and consequences.