Food waste, hunger, inhumane livestock conditions, disappearing fish stocks—these are exactly the kind of issues we expect food regulations to combat. Yet, today in the United States, laws exist at all levels of government that actually make these problems worse. Baylen Linnekin argues that, too often, government rules handcuff America’s most sustainable farmers, producers, sellers, and consumers, while rewarding those whose practices are anything but sustainable.
Biting the Hands that Feed Us introduces readers to the perverse consequences of many food rules. Some of these rules constrain the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables, relegating bushels of tasty but misshapen carrots and strawberries to food waste. Other rules have threatened to treat manure—the lifeblood of organic fertilization—as a toxin. Still other rules prevent sharing food with the homeless and others in need. There are even rules that prohibit people from growing fruits and vegetables in their own yards.
Linnekin also explores what makes for a good food law—often, he explains, these emphasize good outcomes rather than rigid processes. But he urges readers to be wary of efforts to regulate our way to a greener food system, calling instead for empowerment of those working to feed us—and themselves—sustainably.
The Chicago Food Encyclopedia
Edited by Carol Mighton Haddix, Bruce Kraig, and Colleen Taylor Sen: Foreword by Russell Lewis University of Illinois Press, 2017 Library of Congress TX360.U63C4534 2017 | Dewey Decimal 664.0097311
The Chicago Food Encyclopedia is a far-ranging portrait of an American culinary paradise. Hundreds of entries deliver all of the visionary restauranteurs, Michelin superstars, beloved haunts, and food companies of today and yesterday. More than 100 sumptuous images include thirty full-color photographs that transport readers to dining rooms and food stands across the city. Throughout, a roster of writers, scholars, and industry experts pays tribute to an expansive--and still expanding--food history that not only helped build Chicago but fed a growing nation. Pizza. Alinea. Wrigley Spearmint. Soul food. Rick Bayless. Hot Dogs. Koreatown. Everest. All served up A-Z, and all part of the ultimate reference on Chicago and its food.
The Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation the American president signs. Negotiated every five to seven years, it has tremendous implications for food production, nutrition assistance, habitat conservation, international trade, and much more. Yet at nearly 1,000 pages, it is difficult to understand for policymakers, let alone citizens. In this primer, Dan Imhoff and Christina Badaracco translate all the “legalease" and political jargon into an accessible, graphics-rich 200 pages.
Readers will learn the basic elements of the bill, its origins and history, and perhaps most importantly, the battles that will determine the direction of food policy in the coming years. The authors trace how the legislation has evolved, from its first incarnation during the Great Depression, to today, when America has become the world’s leading agricultural powerhouse. They explain the three main components of the bill—farm subsidies, food stamps or SNAP, and conservation programs—as well as how crucial public policies are changing.
As Congress ramps up debate about the next farm bill, we all need to understand the implications of their decisions. Will there be limits on subsidies to huge agribusinesses? Can we shift toward programs that reward sustainable farming practices? Will hungry kids get the help they need? These are questions that affect not only farmers, but everyone who eats. You have a stake in the answers. The Farm Bill is your guide.
Between 1600 and 1800, the promise of fresh food attracted more than seven hundred English, French, and Dutch vessels to Madagascar. Throughout this period, European ships spent months at sea in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but until now scholars have not fully examined how crews were fed during these long voyages. Without sustenance from Madagascar, European traders would have struggled to transport silver to Asia and spices back to Europe. Colonies in Mozambique, Mauritius, and at the Cape relied upon frequent imports from Madagascar to feed settlers and slaves.
In Feeding Globalization, Jane Hooper draws on challenging and previously untapped sources to analyze Madagascar’s role in provisioning European trading networks within and ultimately beyond the Indian Ocean. The sale of food from the island not only shaped trade routes and colonial efforts but also encouraged political centralization and the slave trade in Madagascar. Malagasy people played an essential role in supporting European global commerce, with far-reaching effects on their communities.
Feeding Globalization reshapes our understanding of Indian Ocean and global history by insisting historians should pay attention to the role that food played in supporting other exchanges.
Marvin is a contract hog farmer in Iowa. He owns his land, his barn, his tractor, and his animal crates. He has seen profits drop steadily for the last twenty years and feels trapped. Josh is a dairy farmer on a cooperative in Massachusetts. He doesn’t own his cows, his land, his seed, or even all of his equipment. Josh has a healthy income and feels like he’s made it.
In The Food Sharing Revolution, Michael Carolan tells the stories of traditional producers like Marvin, who are being squeezed by big agribusiness, and entrepreneurs like Josh, who are bucking the corporate food system. The difference is Josh has eschewed the burdens of individual ownership and is tapping into the sharing economy.
Josh and many others are sharing tractors, seeds, kitchen space, their homes, and their cultures. They are business owners like Dorothy, who opened her bakery with the help of a no-interest, crowd-sourced loan. They are chefs like Camilla, who introduces diners to her native Colombian cuisine through peer-to-peer meal sharing. Their success is not only good for aspiring producers, but for everyone who wants an alternative to monocrops and processed foods.
The key to successful sharing, Carolan shows, is actually sharing. He warns that food, just like taxis or hotels, can be co-opted by moneyed interests. But when collaboration is genuine, the sharing economy can offer both producers and eaters freedom, even sovereignty. The result is a healthier, more sustainable, and more ethical way to eat.
Offering the first broadly comparative analysis of place-based labeling and marketing systems, Knowing Where It Comes From examines the way claims about the origins and meanings of traditional foods get made around the world, from Italy and France to Costa Rica and Thailand. It also highlights the implications of different systems for both producers and consumers.
Labeling regimes have moved beyond intellectual property to embrace community-based protections, intangible cultural heritage, cultural landscapes, and indigenous knowledge. Reflecting a rich array of juridical, regulatory, and activist perspectives, these approaches seek to level the playing field on which food producers and consumers interact.
In today’s fast-paced, fast food world, everyone seems to be eating alone, all the time—whether it’s at their desks or in the car. Even those who find time for a family meal are cut off from the people who grew, harvested, distributed, marketed, and sold the foods on their table. Few ever break bread with anyone outside their own socioeconomic group. So why does Michael Carolan say that that no one eats alone? Because all of us are affected by the other people in our vast foodscape. We can no longer afford to ignore these human connections as we struggle with dire problems like hunger, obesity, toxic pesticides, antibiotic resistance, depressed rural economies, and low-wage labor.
Carolan argues that building community is the key to healthy, equitable, and sustainable food. While researching No One Eats Alone, he interviewed more than 250 individuals, from flavorists to Fortune 500 executives, politicians to feedlot managers, low-income families to crop scientists, who play a role in the life of food. Advertising consultants told him of efforts to distance eaters and producers—most food firms don’t want their customers thinking about farm laborers or the people living downstream of processing plants. But he also found stories of people getting together to change their relationship to food and to each other.
There are community farms where suburban moms and immigrant families work side by side, reducing social distance as much as food miles. There are entrepreneurs with little capital or credit who are setting up online exchanges to share kitchen space, upending conventional notions of the economy of scale. There are parents and school board members who are working together to improve cafeteria food rather than relying on soda taxes to combat childhood obesity.
Carolan contends that real change only happens when we start acting like citizens first and consumers second. No One Eats Alone is a book about becoming better food citizens.
Spearheaded by Harvey Washington Wiley, the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 launched the federal regulation of food and drugs in the United States. Wiley is often lauded as a champion of public interest for bringing about a law that required healthful ingredients and honest labeling. Clayton Coppin and Jack High demonstrate, however, that Wiley was in fact surreptitiously allied with business firms that would benefit from regulation and moreover, that the law would help him build his government agency, the Federal Bureau of Chemistry.
Coppin and High discuss such issues as Wiley's efforts to assign the law's enforcement to his own bureau. They go on to expose the selectivity of Wiley's enforcement of the law, in which he manipulated commercial competition in order to reward firms that supported him and penalize those that opposed him. By examining the history of the law's movement, the authors show that, rather than acting in the public interest, Wiley used the Pure Food and Drugs Act to further his own power and success. Finally, they analyze government regulation itself as the outcome of two distinct competitive processes, one that takes place in the market, the other in the polity.
The book will interest scholars concerned with government regulation, including those in economics, political science, history, and business.
Clayton Coppin is a management consultant and historian, Koch Industries, Wichita. Jack High is Professor of Economics, George Mason University.
The Taste of America
John L. Hess and Karen Hess University of Illinois Press, 1972 Library of Congress TX353.H47 2000 | Dewey Decimal 641.30973
This classic barbeque of our foodways is as valid and as savory today as when it first tickled ribs a generation ago. Based on the superlative authority of John L. Hess, onetime food critic of the New York Times, and Karen Hess, the pioneering historian of cookery, The Taste of America is both a history of American cooking and a history of the advice smiling celebrity cooks have asked Americans to swallow. The Taste of America provoked the cooking experts of the 1970s into spitting rage by pointing out in embarrassing detail that most of them lacked an essential ingredient: expertise. Now "Kool-Aid like Mother used to make" has become "Kool-Aid like Grandmother used to make," and a new generation has been weaned on synthetic food, pathetic snobbery, neurotic health advice, and reconstituted history.
This much-needed new edition chars Julia Child ("She's not a cook, but she plays one on TV"), chides food maven Ruth Reichl, and marvels at a convention of food technologists (whose program bore the slogan "Eat your heart out, Mother Nature"). Delectable reading for consumers, reformers, and scholars, this twenty-fifth anniversary reissue of The Taste of America will serve well into the new millennium.
Battle lines have long been drawn over how food is produced, what food is made available to whom, and how best to protect consumers from risky or unhealthy food. Jeffrey Haydu resurrects the history of food reform and protest in Upsetting Food, showing how activists defined food problems, articulated solutions, and mobilized for change in the United States.
Haydu’s sociological history starts in the 1830s with diet reformer Sylvester Graham, who blamed alcohol and store-bought bread—signs of a commercializing urban society—for poor health and moral decline. His successors at the turn of the twentieth century rallied against impure food and pushed for women to be schooled in scientific food preparation and nutrition. Decades later, in the 1960s and ’70s, a grassroots movement for organic food battled commercial food production in favor of food grown ecologically, by small farmers, and without artificial chemicals.
Each campaign raised doubts about food safety, health, and transparency, reflecting how a capitalist system can undermine trust in food. But Haydu also considers how each movement reflects the politics, inequalities, and gender relations of its time. And he traces how outcomes of each campaign laid the groundwork for the next. The three eras thus come together as parts of a single, recurring food movement.
Upsetting Food offers readers a historical background to better understand contemporary and contentious food politics.
Ai Hisano reveals how the food industry capitalized on color, fashioning a visual vocabulary that shapes what we think of the food we eat. Our perceptions of what food should look like have changed dramatically as scientists, farmers, food processors, regulators, and marketers established a new, and highly engineered, version of the “natural.”