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Flavors from Home

Refugees in Kentucky Share Their Stories and Comfort Foods

Aimee Zaring

Each year, the United States legally resettles tens of thousands of refugees who have fled their homelands. Refugees, unlike economic migrants, are forced to leave their countries of origin or are driven out by violence or persecution. As these individuals and their families struggle to adapt to a new culture, the kitchen often becomes one of the few places where they are able to return "home." Preparing native cuisine is one way they can find comfort in an unfamiliar land, retain their customs, reconnect with their past, and preserve a sense of identity.

In Flavors from Home, Aimee Zaring shares fascinating and moving stories of courage, perseverance, and self-reinvention from Kentucky's resettled refugees. Each chapter features a different person or family and includes carefully selected recipes. These traditional dishes have nourished both body and soul for people like Huong "CoCo" Tran, who fled South Vietnam in 1975 when Communist troops invaded Saigon, or Kamala Pati Subedi, who was stripped of his citizenship and forced out of Bhutan because of political and religious persecution.

Whether shared at farmers' markets, restaurants, community festivals, or simply among friends and neighbors, these native dishes contribute to the ongoing evolution of American comfort food just as the refugees themselves are redefining what it means to be American. Featuring more than forty recipes from around the globe, Flavors from Home reaches across the table to explore the universal language of food.

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Food and Power in Hawai‘i

Visions of Food Democracy

Edited by Aya Hirata Kimura and Krisnawati Suryanata

In Food and Power in Hawai`i, island scholars and writers from backgrounds in academia, farming, and community organizations discuss new ways of looking at food policy and practices in terms of social justice and sustainability. Each of the nine essays describes Hawai`i’s foodscapes and collectively makes the case that food is a focal point for public policy making, social activism, and cultural mobilization. With its rich case studies, the volume aims to further debate on the agrofood system and extends the discussion of food problems in Hawai`i. Given the island geography, high dependency on imported food has often been portrayed as the primary challenge in Hawai`i, and the traditional response has been localized food production. The book argues, however, that aspects such as differentiated access, the history of colonization, and the neoliberalized nature of the economy also need to be considered for the right transformation of our food system.

The essays point out the diversity of food challenges that Hawai`i faces. They include controversies over land use policies, a gendered and racialized farming population, benefits and costs of biotechnology, stratified access to nutritious foods, as well as ensuring the economic viability of farms. Defying the reductive approach that looks only at calories or tonnage of food produced and consumed as indicators of a sound food system, Food and Power in Hawai`i shows how food problems are necessarily layered with other sociocultural and economic problems, and uses food democracy as the guiding framework. By linking the debate on food explicitly to the issues of power and democracy, each contributor seeks to reframe a discourse, previously focused on increasing the volume of locally grown food or protecting farms, into the broader objectives of ecological sustainability and economic viability.

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Food, Farms, and Community

Exploring Food Systems

Lisa Chase

Throughout the United States, people are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, how it is produced, and how its production affects individuals and their communities. The answers to these questions reveal a complex web of interactions. While large, distant farms and multinational companies dominate at national and global levels, innovative programs including farmers’ markets, farm-to-school initiatives, and agritourism are forging stronger connections between people and food at local and regional levels. At all levels of the food system, energy use, climate change, food safety, and the maintenance of farmland for the future are critical considerations. The need to understand food systems—what they are, who’s involved, and how they work (or don’t)—has never been greater.

Food, Farms, and Community: Exploring Food Systems takes an in-depth look at critical issues, successful programs, and challenges for improving food systems spanning a few miles to a few thousand miles. Case studies that delve into the values that drive farmers, food advocates, and food entrepreneurs are interwoven with analysis supported by the latest research. Examples of entrepreneurial farms and organizations working together to build sustainable food systems are relevant to the entire country—and reveal results that are about much more than fresh food.

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Food in Time and Place

The American Historical Association Companion to Food History

Paul Freedman

Food and cuisine are important subjects for historians across many areas of study.  Food is after all one of the most basic human needs and a foundational part of social and cultural histories. Such topics as famines, food supply, nutrition, and public health are addressed by historians throughout every era and spanning every nation.

Food in Time and Place delivers an unprecedented review of the state of historical research on food, endorsed by the American Historical Association, providing readers with geographically, chronologically, and topically broad understanding of food cultures—from ancient Mediterranean and medieval societies to France and its domination of haute cuisine. Teachers, students, and scholars in food history will appreciate coverage of different thematic concerns, such as transfers of crops, conquest, colonization, immigration, and modern forms of globalization.

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The Food Insecurities of Zimbabwean Migrants in Urban South Africa

Jonathan Crush

This report examines the food security status of Zimbabwean migrant households in the poorer areas of two major South African cities, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The vast majority were food insecure in terms of the amount of food to which they had access and the quality and diversity of their diet. What seems clear is that Zimbabwean migrants are significantly more food insecure than other low-income households. The primary reason for this appears to lie in pressures that include remittances of cash and goods back to family in Zimbabwe. The small literature on the impact of migrant remittances on food security tends to look only at the recipients and how their situation is improved. It does not look at the impact of remitting on those who send remittances. Most Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa feel a strong obligation to remit, but to do so they must make choices because of their limited and unpredictable income. Food is one of the first things to be sacrificed. Quantities decline, cheaper foods are preferred, and dietary quality and diversity inevitably suffer. This study found that while migrants were dissatisfied with the shrinking job market in South Africa, most felt that they would be unlikely to find work in Zimbabwe and that a return would worsen their household�s food security situation. In other words, while food insecurity in Zimbabwe is a major driver of migration to South Africa, food insecurity in South Africa is unlikely to encourage many to return.

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Food Justice

Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi

To combat these inequities and excesses, a movement for food justice has emerged in recent years seeking to transform the food system from seed to table. In Food Justice, Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi tell the story of this emerging movement.

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Food Will Win the War

Minnesota Crops, Cook, and Conservation during World War I

Rae Katherine Eighmey

Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, vegetable gardens and chickens in every empty lot. When the United States entered World War I, Minnesotans responded to appeals for personal sacrifice and changed the way they cooked and ate in order to conserve food for the boys “over there.” Baking with corn and rye, eating simple meals based on locally grown food, consuming fewer calories, and wasting nothing in the kitchen became civic acts. High-energy foods and calories unconsumed on the American home front could help the food-starved, war-torn American Allies eat another day and fight another battle. Food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey engages readers with wide research and recipes drawn from rarely viewed letters, diaries, recipe books, newspaper accounts, government pamphlets, and public service fliers. She brings alive the unknown but unparalleled efforts to win the war made by ordinary “Citizen Soldiers”—farmers and city dwellers, lumberjacks and homemakers—who rolled up their sleeves to apply “can-do” ingenuity coupled with “must-do” drive. Their remarkable efforts transformed everyday life and set the stage for the United States’ postwar economic and political ascendance.

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Foodways and Daily Life in Medieval Anatolia

A New Social History

By Nicolas Trépanier

Bringing to life an overlooked aspect of the dawn of the Ottoman empire, this illuminating study uses the prism of food—from farming to mealtimes, religious rituals, and commerce—to understand how Anatolian society gave rise to a superpower.

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For the Love of Wine

My Odyssey through the World's Most Ancient Wine Culture

Alice Feiring

In 2011 when Alice Feiring first arrived in Georgia, she felt as if she’d emerged from the magic wardrobe into a world filled with mythical characters making exotic and delicious wine with the low-tech methods of centuries past. She was smitten, and she wasn’t alone. This country on the Black Sea has an unusual effect on people; the most passionate rip off their clothes and drink wines out of horns while the cold-hearted well up with tears and make emotional toasts. Visiting winemakers fall under Georgia’s spell and bring home qvevris (clay fermentation vessels) while rethinking their own techniques.


But, as in any good fairy tale, Feiring sensed that danger rode shotgun with the magic. With acclaim and growing international interest come threats in the guise of new wine consultants aimed at making wines more commercial. So Feiring fought back in the only way she knew how: by celebrating Georgia and the men and women who make the wines she loves most, those made naturally with organic viticulture, minimal intervention, and no additives.


From Tbilisi to Batumi, Feiring meets winemakers, bishops, farmers, artists, and silk spinners. She feasts, toasts, and collects recipes. She encounters the thriving qvevri craftspeople of the countryside, wild grape hunters, and even Stalin’s last winemaker while plumbing the depths of this tiny country’s love for its wines.


For the Love of Wine is Feiring’s emotional tale of a remarkable country and people who have survived religious wars and Soviet occupation yet managed always to keep hold of their precious wine traditions. Embedded in the narrative is the hope that Georgia has the temerity to confront its latest threat—modernization.


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Fritos® Pie

Stories, Recipes, and More

Kaleta Doolin; Foreword by Davia Nelson

Fritos® Pie is an insider’s look at the never-before-told story of the Frito Company written by Kaleta Doolin, daughter of the company’s founder. Filled with personal anecdotes, more than 150 vintage and newly created recipes, and stories, this book recounts the company’s early days, the 1961 merger that created Frito-Lay, Inc., and beyond. In 1932 C. E. Doolin, the operator of a struggling San Antonio confectionery, purchased for $100 the recipe for a fried corn chip product and a crude device used to make it, along with a list of nineteen customer accounts. From that humble beginning sprang Fritos® (“fries” in Spanish), a product that, thanks to Doolin’s marketing ingenuity and a visionary approach to food technology, would become one of the best-known brands in America. One of the first firms to utilize point-of-sale advertising, the Frito Company developed dozens of recipes intended to get American homemakers “Cooking with Fritos.” Indeed, Doolin shows that many of the vintage recipes developed by her grandmother, her father, and company employees became integral to the company’s marketing success. The book includes recipes—for everything from appetizers to desserts, all using Fritos as an ingredient—along with the author’s comments and anecdotes about her adventures experimenting with them in her kitchen. Doolin also draws upon hours of interviews with her mother, siblings, cousins, and many of her father's closest business associates as well as focused research in Frito-Lay corporate archives and other collections to paint a portrait of her father as not only an innovator in food marketing but also a visionary inventor, a forward-thinking agriculturalist, and an entrepreneur with an amazing grasp of detail.

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