What Tom Vanderbilt did for traffic and Brian Wansink did for mindless eating, Jonathan Bloom does for food waste. The topic couldn't be timelier: As more people are going hungry while simultaneously more people are morbidly obese, American Wasteland sheds light on the history, culture, and mindset of waste while exploring the parallel eco-friendly and sustainable-food movements. As the era of unprecedented prosperity comes to an end, it's time to reexamine our culture of excess. Working at both a local grocery store and a major fast food chain and volunteering with a food recovery group, Bloom also interviews experts--from Brian Wansink to Alice Waters to Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen--and digs up not only why and how we waste, but, more importantly, what we can do to change our ways.
Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take "us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.
No two curries are the same. This Curry asks why the dish is supposed to represent everything brown people eat, read, and do. Curry is a dish that doesn't quite exist, but, as this wildly funny and sharp essay points out, a dish that doesn't properly exist can have infinite, equally authentic variations. By grappling with novels, recipes, travelogues, pop culture, and his own upbringing, Naben Ruthnum depicts how the distinctive taste of curry has often become maladroit shorthand for brown identity. With the sardonic wit of Gita Mehta's Karma Cola and the refined, obsessive palette of Bill Buford's Heat, Ruthnum sinks his teeth into the story of how the beloved flavor calcified into an aesthetic genre that limits the imaginations of writers, readers, and eaters. Following in the footsteps of Salman Rushdie's Imaginary Homelands, Curry cracks open anew the staid narrative of an authentically Indian diasporic experience.
Disheartened by the shrink-wrapped, Styrofoam-packed state of contemporary supermarket fruits and vegetables, many shoppers hark back to a more innocent time, to visions of succulent red tomatoes plucked straight from the vine, gleaming orange carrots pulled from loamy brown soil, swirling heads of green lettuce basking in the sun. With Hybrid, Noel Kingsbury reveals that even those imaginary perfect foods are themselves far from anything that could properly be called natural; rather, they represent the end of a millennia-long history of selective breeding and hybridization. Starting his story at the birth of agriculture, Kingsbury traces the history of human attempts to make plants more reliable, productive, and nutritious--a story that owes as much to accident and error as to innovation and experiment. Drawing on historical and scientific accounts, as well as a rich trove of anecdotes, Kingsbury shows how scientists, amateur breeders, and countless anonymous farmers and gardeners slowly caused the evolutionary pressures of nature to be supplanted by those of human needs--and thus led us from sparse wild grasses to succulent corn cobs, and from mealy, white wild carrots to the juicy vegetables we enjoy today. At the same time, Kingsbury reminds us that contemporary controversies over the Green Revolution and genetically modified crops are not new; plant breeding has always had a political dimension. A powerful reminder of the complicated and ever-evolving relationship between humans and the natural world, Hybrid will give readers a thoughtful new perspective on--and a renewed appreciation of--the cereal crops, vegetables, fruits, and flowers that are central to our way of life.
Strawberries in January, fresh tomatoes year-round and New Zealand lamb at all times -- these well-travelled foods have a carbon footprint the size of an SUV. But there is a burgeoning local food movement taking place in Canadian cities, farms and shops that is changing both the way we eat and the way we think about food. Locavore describes how foodies,100-milers, urbanites, farmers, gardeners and chefs across Canada are creating a new local food order that has the potential to fight climate change and feed us all. Combining front-line reporting, shrewd analysis and passionate food writing to delight the gastronome, Locavore shows how the pieces of a post-industrial food system are being assembled into something infinitely better. We meet city-dwellers who grow crops in their backyards and office workers who have traded their keyboards for pitchforks. We learn how a group of New Brunswick farmers saved the family farm, why artisanal cheese in Quebec is so popular and how a century-old farm survives in urban British Columbia, bordered by the ocean on one side and by a new housing development on the other. We follow food culture activists as they work to preserve the genetic material of heritage plants to return once-endangered flavours to our tables. In recounting the stories of its diverse cast of characters, Locavore lays out a blueprint for a local food revolution. From Locavore :At farmers’ markets across the city, heritage tomatoes, free-range eggs and organic purslane are sold out before noon.... And at the cheese shop, the rich but not-too-salty sheep’s milk feta made on the outskirts of Toronto is so popular I never know when I’ll find it again. Everywhere, it seems, demand outstrips supply for local produce.
What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, The Omnivore's Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan's revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore's Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.
In a world expected to reach a staggering population of 9 billion by 2050, and with global temperatures rising fast, humanity must fundamentally change the way it grows and consumes food. But can we produce enough food to feed ourselves sustainably for an uncertain future? How will climate change determine what we eat? Will we really be eating bugs? Uncertain Harvest questions scientists, chefs, activists, entrepreneurs, farmers, philosophers, and engineers working on the global future of food on how to make a more equitable, safe, sustainable, and plentiful food future. Examining cutting-edge research, the authors present a roadmap for a global food policy, while examining eight foods that could save us: algae, caribou, kale, millet, tuna, crickets, milk, and rice.
Scholarly books and ebooks
Below is a recommended list of titles from the University Library.
An undertaking without parallel or precedent, this monumental volume encapsulates much of what is known of the history of food and nutrition. It constitutes a vast and essential chapter in the history of human health and culture. Ranging from the eating habits of our prehistoric ancestors to food-related policy issues we face today, this work covers the full spectrum of foods that have been hunted, gathered, cultivated, and domesticated; their nutritional make-up and uses; and their impact on cultures and demography. It offers a geographical perspective on the history and culture of food and drink and takes up subjects from food fads, prejudices, and taboos to questions of food toxins, additives, labelling, and entitlements. It culminates in a dictionary that identifies and sketches out brief histories of plant foods mentioned in the text - over 1,000 in all - and additionally supplies thousands of common names and synonyms for those foods.
Revealing how Canada's first Prime Minister used a policy of starvation against Indigenous people to clear the way for settlement, the multiple award-winning Clearing the Plains sparked widespread debate about genocide in Canada. In arresting, but harrowing, prose, James Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics—the politics of ethnocide—played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of Indigenous people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s 'National Dream.'
Documents how racial and social inequalities are built into our food system, and how communities are creating environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives. Popularized by such best-selling authors as Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Eric Schlosser, a growing food movement urges us to support sustainable agriculture by eating fresh food produced on local family farms. But many low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have been systematically deprived of access to healthy and sustainable food. These communities have been actively prevented from producing their own food and often live in "food deserts" where fast food is more common than fresh food. Cultivating Food Justice describes their efforts to envision and create environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives to the food system. Bringing together insights from studies of environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, critical race theory, and food studies, Cultivating Food Justice highlights the ways race and class inequalities permeate the food system, from production to distribution to consumption. The studies offered in the book explore a range of important issues, including agricultural and land use policies that systematically disadvantage Native American, African American, Latino/a, and Asian American farmers and farmworkers; access problems in both urban and rural areas; efforts to create sustainable local food systems in low-income communities of color; and future directions for the food justice movement. These diverse accounts of the relationships among food, environmentalism, justice, race, and identity will help guide efforts to achieve a just and sustainable agriculture.
Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land
Housework--often trivialized or simply overlooked in public discourse--contributes in a complex and essential way to the form that families and societies assume. In this innovative study, Marjorie L. DeVault explores the implications of "feeding the family" from the perspective of those who do that work. Along the way, DeVault offers a new vocabulary for discussing nurturance as a basis of group life and sociability. Drawing from interviews conducted in 1982-83 in a diverse group of American households, DeVault reveals the effort and skill behind the "invisible" work of shopping, cooking, and serving meals. She then shows how this work can become oppressive for women, drawing them into social relations that construct and maintain their subordinate position in household life.
Food in Cuba follows Cuban families as they struggle to maintain a decent quality of life in Cuba's faltering, post-Soviet welfare state by specifically looking at the social and emotional dimensions of shifts in access to food. Based on extensive fieldwork with families in Santiago de Cuba, the island's second largest city, Hanna Garth examines Cuban families' attempts to acquire and assemble "a decent meal," unraveling the layers of household dynamics, community interactions, and individual reflections on everyday life in today's Cuba.
Through research and case studies, Indigenous and non-Indigenous food scholars and community practitioners explore the concepts, practices, and contemporary issues of various Indigenous food systems across Canada, including Anishinaabeg, Asatiwisipe, Cree, Métis, Migmag, and Tsartlip Nations. They also document community experiences and perspectives on these food systems, demonstrating how different Indigenous communities are leading the way to design and implement community-based initiatives in collaborative and cooperative spirit with other Indigenous communities, organizations, and non-Indigenous allies to improve health, well-being, and food security of current and future generations of Indigenous Peoples as well as other citizens of Canada. In particular, the chapters of this book highlight (a) the salient features of Indigenous food systems, (b) some of the barriers and challenges to Indigenous food systems, and (c) the potential solutions to address these barriers and reclaim cultural identity and resurgence, thereby achieving food security and food sovereignty.
Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning, and Practice
Planet Taco asks the question, "what is authentic Mexican food?" The burritos and taco shells that many people think of as Mexican were actually created in the United States, and Americanized foods have recently been carried around the world in tin cans and tourist restaurants. But thecontemporary struggle between globalization and national sovereignty to determine the meaning of Mexican food is far from new. In fact, Mexican food was the product of globalization from the very beginning - the Spanish conquest - when European and Native American influences blended to forge themestizo or mixed culture of Mexico.The historic struggle between globalization and the nation continued in the nineteenth century, as Mexicans searching for a national cuisine were torn between nostalgic "Creole" Hispanic dishes of the past and French haute cuisine, the global food of the day. Indigenous foods, by contrast, wereconsidered strictly declasse. Yet another version of Mexican food was created in the U.S. Southwest by Mexican American cooks, including the "Chili Queens" of San Antonio and tamale vendors of Los Angeles.When Mexican American dishes were appropriated by the fast food industry and carried around the world, Mexican elites rediscovered the indigenous roots of their national cuisine among the ancient Aztecs and the Maya. Even this Nueva Cocina Mexicana was a transnational phenomenon, called "NewSouthwestern" by chefs in the United States. Rivalries within this present-day gourmet movement recalled the nineteenth-century struggles between Creole, Native, and French foods.Planet Taco also seeks to recover the history of people who have been ignored in the struggles to define authentic Mexican, especially those who are marginal to both nations: Indians and Mexican Americans.
In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry. He discusses the production and consumption of sugar, and reveals how closely interwoven are sugar's origins as a "slave" crop grown in Europe's tropical colonies with its use first as an extravagant luxury for the aristocracy, then as a staple of the diet of the new industrial proletariat. Finally, he considers how sugar has altered work patterns, eating habits, and our diet in modern times.
Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry