- Title: A Feast from Nature – Food Culture of the First Humans on Planet Earth
- Author: Renata Coetzee
- Publisher: African Sun Media
- Country of Origin: South Africa
- Publication Year: 2018
- ISBN: 9780620790734
- Bib. Info: Hardcover; 232pp
In this book Renata explored the food culture and lifestyles of early humans, and of the Khoi-Khoin. She combined many decades of knowledge as a nutritionist and food culture expert with multidisciplinary research of over 15 years – bringing together aspects of archaeology, palaeontology, botany, genetics, history, languages, culture and much more, in a unique way. While scientifically sound, it is beautifully illustrated and a true collector’s piece.
In 2015 Renata self-published the book through Penstock Publishing. The first print-run of 500 copies was soon sold out – mostly to friends, family and fans. We have now reprinted the book to make Coetzee’s unique work available to a wider audience. Academics, researchers and food experts can build further on her research. Communities will benefit from further work to build understanding among various cultures and on the history of our “First Peoples”. Indigenous plants with culinary and agricultural potential can be further developed for food production.
Renata’s research included interviews with many elderly Khoi-Khoin women and men in various regions, about the details of their food sources and uses. A special feature in the book is that wherever possible, the Khoi and Afrikaans names of plants and animals are given, with English and scientific names. About 250 fine photographs and over 80 illustrations of edible indigenous plants – as well as maps and Khoi traditions – make the book a journey of discovery, bringing to life the linkages between evolution and culinary history over millennia.
The book also offers valuable lessons in terms of the nutritional value of many indigenous foods, food security and sustainability. The DST/NRF Centre of Excellence: Food Security, hosted by UWC and the University of Pretoria, has supported the reprint of the book. They, together with the Agricultural Research Council, intend doing further research on indigenous food products identified in Coetzee’s extensive work on the various food cultures in South Africa.