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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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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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From Demon to Darling

A Legal History of Wine in America

Richard Mendelson

Richard Mendelson brings together his expertise as both a Napa Valley lawyer and a winemaker into this accessible overview of American wine law from colonial times to the present. It is a story of fits and starts that provides a fascinating chronicle of the history of wine in the United States told through the lens of the law. From the country's early support for wine as a beverage to the moral and religious fervor that resulted in Prohibition and to the governmental controls that followed Repeal, Mendelson takes us to the present day—and to the emergence of an authentic and significant wine culture. He explains how current laws shape the wine industry in such areas as pricing and taxation, licensing, appellations, health claims and warnings, labeling, and domestic and international commerce. As he explores these and other legal and policy issues, Mendelson lucidly highlights the concerns that have made wine alternatively the demon or the darling of American society—and at the same time illuminates the ways in which lives and livelihoods are affected by the rise and fall of social movements.

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From King Cane to the Last Sugar Mill

Agricultural Technology and the Making of Hawai`i's Premier Crop

C. Allan Jones and Robert V. Osgood

Sugarcane cultivation began in Hawai‘i with the arrival of Polynesian settlers, expanding into a commercial crop in the early 1800s. Hawai‘i’s sugar industry, a significant economic and political force in the last half of the nineteenth century entered the twentieth century heralding major improvements in sugarcane varieties, irrigation systems, fertilizer use, biological pest control, and the use of steam power for field and factory operations. By the 1920s the industry was probably the most technologically advanced in the world. However, Hawai‘i’s annexation by the United States in 1898 invalidated the Kingdom’s contract labor laws, reduced the plantations’ hold on labor, and resulted in successful strikes by Japanese and Filipino workers. The industry survived the low sugar prices of the Great Depression and labor shortages of World War II by mechanizing to increase labor productivity. The industry saw science-driven gains in productivity and profitability in the 1950s and 1960s, but beginning in the 1970s unprecedented economic pressures reduced the number of plantations from twenty-seven in 1970 to only four in 2000. By 2011 only one plantation remained.

This book focuses on the technological and scientific advances that allowed Hawai‘i’s sugar industry to become a world leader and HC&S to survive into the twenty-first century. The authors also discuss the enormous societal and environmental changes caused by the sugar industry’s aggressive search for labor, land, and water resources.

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From the Jewish Heartland

Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways

Ellen F. Steinberg

From the Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways reveals the distinctive flavor of Jewish foods in the Midwest and tracks regional culinary changes through time. Exploring Jewish culinary innovation in America's heartland from the 1800s to today, Ellen F. Steinberg and Jack H. Prost examine recipes from numerous midwestern sources, both kosher and nonkosher, including Jewish homemakers' handwritten manuscripts and notebooks, published journals and newspaper columns, and interviews with Jewish cooks, bakers, and delicatessen owners._x000B__x000B_Settling into the cities, towns, and farm communities of Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota, Jewish immigrants incorporated local fruits, vegetables, and other comestibles into traditional recipes. Such incomparable gustatory delights include Tzizel bagels and rye breads coated in midwestern cornmeal, baklava studded with locally grown cranberries, tangy ketchup concocted from wild sour grapes, rich Chicago cheesecakes, and savory gefilte fish from Minnesota northern pike._x000B__x000B_Steinberg and Prost also consider the effect of improved preservation and transportation on rural and urban Jewish foodways and the efforts of social and culinary reformers to modify traditional Jewish food preparation and ingredients. Including dozens of sample recipes and ample illustrations, From the Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways takes readers on a memorable and unique tour of midwestern Jewish cooking and culture.

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