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Farm Labor Struggles in Zimbabwe

The Ground of Politics

Blair Rutherford

In the early twentieth century, white-owned farms in Zimbabwe were subject to large-scale occupations by black urban dwellers in an increasingly violent struggle between national electoral politics, land reform, and contestations over democracy. Were the black occupiers being freed from racist bondage as cheap laborers by the state-supported massive land redistribution, or were they victims of state violence who had been denied access to their homes, social services, and jobs? Blair Rutherford examines the unequal social and power relations shaping the lives, livelihoods, and struggles of some of the farm workers during this momentous period in Zimbabwean history. His analysis is anchored in the time he spent on a horticultural farm just east of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, that was embroiled in the tumult of political violence associated with jambanja, the democratization movement. Rutherford complicates this analysis by showing that there was far more in play than political oppression by a corrupt and authoritarian regime and a movement to rectify racial and colonial land imbalances, as dominant narratives would have it. Instead, he reveals, farm worker livelihoods, access to land, gendered violence, and conflicting promises of rights and sovereignty played a more important role in the political economy of citizenship and labor than had been imagined.

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Farmers' Markets of the Heartland

Janine MacLachlan

In this splendidly illustrated book, food writer and self-described farm groupie Janine MacLachlan embarks on a tour of seasonal markets and farmstands throughout the Midwest, sampling local flavors from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. She conducts delicious research as she meets farmers, tastes their food, and explores how their businesses thrive in the face of an industrial food supply. She tells the stories of a pair of farmers growing specialty crops on a few acres of northern Michigan for just a few months out of the year, an Ohio cattle farm that has raised heritage beef since 1820, and a Minnesota farmer who tirelessly champions the Jimmy Nardello sweet Italian frying pepper. Along the way, she savors vibrant red carrots, slurpy peaches, vast quantities of specialty cheeses, and some of the tastiest pie to cross anyone's lips. _x000B__x000B_Informed by debates about eating local, seasonal crops, organic farming, and biodiversity, Farmers' Markets of the Heartland tantalizes with special recipes from farm-friendly chefs and dozens of luscious color photographs that will inspire you to harvest the homegrown flavors in your own neighborhood.

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Feeding the City

From Street Market to Liberal Reform in Salvador, Brazil, 1780–1860

By Richard Graham

On the eastern coast of Brazil, facing westward across a wide magnificent bay, lies Salvador, a major city in the Americas at the end of the eighteenth century. Those who distributed and sold food, from the poorest street vendors to the most prosperous traders—black and white, male and female, slave and free, Brazilian, Portuguese, and African—were connected in tangled ways to each other and to practically everyone else in the city, and are the subjects of this book. Food traders formed the city’s most dynamic social component during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, constantly negotiating their social place. The boatmen who brought food to the city from across the bay decisively influenced the outcome of the war for Brazilian independence from Portugal by supplying the insurgents and not the colonial army. Richard Graham here shows for the first time that, far from being a city sharply and principally divided into two groups—the rich and powerful or the hapless poor or enslaved—Salvador had a population that included a great many who lived in between and moved up and down. The day-to-day behavior of those engaged in food marketing leads to questions about the government’s role in regulating the economy and thus to notions of justice and equity, questions that directly affected both food traders and the wider consuming public. Their voices significantly shaped the debate still going on between those who support economic liberalization and those who resist it.

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Feeding the World

Agricultural Research in the Twenty-First Century

Gale A. Buchanan

The astounding success of agricultural research has enabled farmers to produce increasingly more—and more kinds—of food throughout the world. But with a projected 9 billion people to feed by 2050, veteran researcher Gale Buchanan fears that human confidence in this ample supply, especially in the US, has created unrealistic expectations for the future. Without a working knowledge of what types and amounts of research produced the bounty we enjoy today, we will not be prepared to support the research necessary to face the challenges ahead, including population growth, climate change, and water and energy scarcity.

In this book, Buchanan describes the historical commitment to research and the phenomenal changes it brought to our ability to feed ourselves. He also prescribes a path for the future, pointing the way toward an adequately funded, more creative agricultural research system that involves scientists, administrators, educators, farmers, politicians, and consumers; resides in one “stand alone” agency; enjoys a consistent funding stream; and operates internationally.

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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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