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Food Supply in the Old South, 1840-1860
When historical geographer Sam B. Hilliard’s book Hog Meat and Hoecake was published in 1972, it was ahead of its time. It was one of the first scholarly examinations of the important role food played in a region’s history, culture, and politics, and it has since become a landmark of foodways scholarship.
In the book Hilliard examines the food supply, dietary habits, and agricultural choices of the antebellum American South, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He explores the major southern food sources at the time, the regional production of commodity crops, and the role of those products in the subsistence economy.
Far from being primarily a plantation system concentrating on cash crops such as cotton and tobacco, Hilliard demonstrates that the South produced huge amounts of foodstuffs for regional consumption. In fact, the South produced so abundantly that, except for wines and cordials, southern tables were not only stocked with the essentials but amply laden with veritable delicacies as well. (Though contrary to popular opinion, neither grits nor hominy ever came close to being universally used in the South prior to the Civil War.)
Hilliard’s focus on food habits, culture, and consumption was revolutionary—as was his discovery that malnutrition was not a major cause of the South’s defeat in the Civil War. His book established the methods and vocabulary for studying a region’s cuisine in the context of its culture that foodways scholars still employ today. This reissue is an excellent and timely reminder of that.
What It Means for Our Global Food System
Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet
Food consumption is a significant and complex social activity—and what a society chooses to feed its children reveals much about its tastes and ideas regarding health. In this groundbreaking historical work, Amy Bentley explores how the invention of commercial baby food shaped American notions of infancy and influenced the evolution of parental and pediatric care.
Until the late nineteenth century, infants were almost exclusively fed breast milk. But over the course of a few short decades, Americans began feeding their babies formula and solid foods, frequently as early as a few weeks after birth.
By the 1950s, commercial baby food had become emblematic of all things modern in postwar America. Little jars of baby food were thought to resolve a multitude of problems in the domestic sphere: they reduced parental anxieties about nutrition and health; they made caretakers feel empowered; and they offered women entering the workforce an irresistible convenience. But these baby food products laden with sugar, salt, and starch also became a gateway to the industrialized diet that blossomed during this period.
Today, baby food continues to be shaped by medical, commercial, and parenting trends. Baby food producers now contend with health and nutrition problems as well as the rise of alternative food movements. All of this matters because, as the author suggests, it’s during infancy that American palates become acclimated to tastes and textures, including those of highly processed, minimally nutritious, and calorie-dense industrial food products.
Food, Family, and Community in New York City
Looking at the historic Italian American community of East Harlem in the 1920s and 30s, Simone Cinotto recreates the bustling world of Italian life in New York City and demonstrates how food was at the center of the lives of immigrants and their children. Drawing on a vast array of resources including fascinating, rarely explored primary documents and fresh approaches in the study of consumer culture, Cinotto argues that Italian immigrants created a distinctive culture of food as a symbolic response to the needs of immigrant life, from the struggle for personal and group identity to the pursuit of social and economic power. Adding a transnational dimension to the study of Italian American foodways, Cinotto recasts Italian American food culture as an American "invention" resonant with traces of tradition.
In Search of the Jewish Soul Food
When Laura Silver's favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish.
The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl's bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey--and on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn.
With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Along the way, she meets Minnesota seniors who make knishes for weekly fundraisers, foodies determined to revive the legacy of Mrs. Stahl, and even the legendary knish maker's granddaughters, who share their joie de vivre--and their family recipe.
Knish connections to Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music? Die-hard investigator Silver unearths those and other intriguing anecdotes involving the starchy snack once so common along Manhattan's long-lost Knish Alley. In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes us on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.
Memories from the Farm of My Youth
"The river was in God's hands, the cows in ours." So passed the days on Indian Farm, a dairy operation on 700 acres of rich Illinois bottomland. In this collection, Alan Guebert and his daughter-editor Mary Grace Foxwell recall Guebert's years on the land working as part of that all-consuming collaborative effort known as the family farm. Here are Guebert's tireless parents, measuring the year not in months but in seasons for sewing, haying, and doing the books; Jackie the farmhand, needing ninety minutes to do sixty minutes' work and cussing the entire time; Hoard the dairyman, sore fingers wrapped in electrician's tape, sharing wine and the prettiest Christmas tree ever; and the unflappable Uncle Honey, spreading mayhem via mistreated machinery, flipped wagons, and the careless union of diesel fuel and fire. Guebert's heartfelt and humorous reminiscences depict the hard labor and simple pleasures to be found in ennobling work, and show that in life, as in farming, Uncle Honey had it right with his succinct philosophy for overcoming adversity: "the secret's not to stop."
Food Studies Methods from the American South
Case Studies for a New Generation
In a world facing chronic and increasing shortages in food crops and natural resources, visionary leadership in agriculture becomes more and more critical for building and maintaining a sustainable future. It is of paramount importance that the dynamic and challenging evolution in agriculture over the last century and a half be met today with imaginative leadership in virtually all aspects of activities and organizations involved.
Leadership in Agriculture: Case Studies for a New Generation focuses on key characteristics and elements of leadership. Using case studies from research, industry, education, administration, and extension services, the authors present real-world circumstances ranging from natural disasters to major restructuring that demanded problem solving, new initiatives, consensus, and organizational commitment. Drawing on their own experiences and covering topics as diverse as closing facilities, mounting a national research initiative, reinventing a major corporation, and dealing with invasive termites, the studies contain examples of both good and bad outcomes and tie back to the stated leadership principles and qualities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Leadership in the Agricultural Environment 1
Character: The Bedrock of Leaders and Leadership 13
Case Studies—How Leadership Can Make a Difference 37
1. Facing Down Nature: How a Regional Lab Survived Hurricane Katrina (Addressing Physical Crises) 38
2. Exerting Ag Leadership in Distributed Geographic Locations (Coordinating Dispersed Units within One Organization) 49
3. Closing and Relocating Facilities and Terminating Programs (Leadership Challenges with Organizational Restructuring) 59
4. National Research Initiative: Creating a Shared Leadership Vision (Bringing about a New Solution) 73
5. Battling Formosan Subterranean Termites (Forging a New Approach) 81
6. Gathering of the Agricultural Clan (Bringing Leaders Together without Central Authority) 90
7. Monsanto: How One Company Saw the Future and Transformed to Seize It (Leadership’s Role in a Significant Change) 96
8. Enhancing Leadership in the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (Cultivating New Leadership) 123
9. Development of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) (Enhancing a Better Understanding of Agricultural Science and Technology) 133
Lessons Learned from Case Studies 145
Making Leadership Work for You 152
Appendixes: How Does the Scientific Agricultural System Work? 161
Appendix A. The Land-Grant System: A Key to America’s Dream? How Does It Function? 161
Appendix B. The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service: Focus on National and International Issues 165
Appendix C. The Industrial Approach to Research: Diverse Foci Linked to Industrial Economic Effects 167
About the Authors 177
For more information, please visit www.leadershipinagriculture.com.
One Chef's Slow Food Journey
America’s fast food culture reflects not only what we eat—foods that are processed and packaged for convenience—but also how we eat—munching as we multitask and not really tasting the super-sized meals we ingest. But in recent years, a more thoughtful philosophy about food has emerged. Developed in Italy, where fresh ingredients and artisanal techniques are prized, the Slow Food movement has rapidly gained a following in North America. The skeptics among us might wonder if it is possible truly to enjoy a Slow Food lifestyle—one based around local, seasonal ingredients—in our fast-paced world.
In Locavore Adventures, acclaimed New Jersey chef and restaurateur Jim Weaver shares his personal story of how he came to solve this problem—building a local slow food culture that is ecologically responsible and also yields delicious results. Weaver tells of his odyssey founding the Central New Jersey chapter of Slow Food, connecting local farmers, food producers, and chefs with the public to forge communities that value the region’s unique bounty. More than forty recipes throughout the book, from Hot Smoked Brook Trout with Asparagus Puree and Pickled Cippollini Onions to Zuppa di Mozzarella, will inspire readers to be creative in their own kitchens. Locavore Adventures is a thoughtful memoir about growing a sustainable food culture and a guide to slowing down, savoring locally grown food, and celebrating life.