'Foodie' social analysis book


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'Foodie' social analysis book

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Jun 29, 2010, 2:07pm

I was just listening to an interview on the CBC where the authors of Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape were discussing their book. It highlights the pluses and minuses of foodie culture, including its romanticizing of poverty, exclusionism (Despite trying hard not to be) etc.. it sounds like a very interesting book! Has anyone else here read it?

Any other 'foodie' type books to recommend?

Jun 29, 2010, 2:43pm

I enjoyed The Omnivore's Dilemma. Pollan inspired me to purchase The Physiology of Taste, but I have yet to read it.

My wife and I watched Jamie Oliver's foray into America, and I would be inclined to read something by him on the subject of healthy eating.

Jun 30, 2010, 1:44am

That looks like a really interesting book, Bcteagirl. I've bookmarked it and hope to acquire a copy and read it at some point.

If you're interested in the sociocultural implications of dining and food culture, I think you'd probably like a lot of the books from Berg Publishers. They publish many cultural studies and anthropological texts, including some specifically centered on food and drink: http://www.bergpublishers.com/Categories/fod/tabid/605/Default.aspx I also recommend many of the books on food and culture published by Harvard's Belknap Press.

Jun 30, 2010, 2:08am

Looks interesting! I have a copy of Much depends on dinner out from the university library.. apparently one of the first food history books. Might be a while before I get to it though.

Edited: Jun 30, 2010, 2:41am

I came across a copy of The British at Table 1940-1980* while on holiday and found it a fascinating and somewhat horrifying read.

Thanks for the publisher suggestions, Marie!

*Apologies - touchstone has broken

Jun 30, 2010, 5:09pm

I really like Gordon Edgar's perspective in Cheesemonger: A life on the wedge. He's the cheese buyer at Rainbow Grocery, which is a large worker-owned natural grocery here in San Francisco. It's kind of a memoir of his experiences on the retail side of the foodie culture, and he makes a lot of well thought out points about politics, food, and marketing.

One of the more interesting points is when he talks about the contradiction in selling cheese to liberal, foodie San Franciscans who ask questions like "is it organic?" and "is it a family farm?" when the answers are yes but the conservative Christian politics of a lot of those family farmers would not be welcome at the San Franciscans' tables.

Aug 5, 2010, 3:53pm

I recently read The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt. Hewitt took an interesting look at the local food movement.

Sep 30, 2010, 4:31pm

Wasn't quite sure where this would fit, since it is not a fiction book, nor is it a biography. Right now I am reading Food Mania by Nigel Garwood. It is largely a picture book, with pictures of food in art/advertising throughout history in section such as market, farm, larder, bakery, and table. Many of the pictures are from the 18th and 19th century, including many detailed engravings of different sorts of (Fish, beets, scallops, canned goods), and many old engravings of food being harvested locally and in 'exotic' locals. I am really enjoying this book. It is a larger book, so there is a lot to look at. It even includes some tea picking drawings :)

Dec 11, 2010, 11:29am

I have read The Physiology of Taste some 6 years after I bought it as result of a reference from an M.F.K. Fisher essay. It is an astonishing account, difficult to categorize, wonderful to read. I have also read Michael Pollan's books, currently finishing The Botany of Desire and use them in a food culture seminar I teach. For sheer scientific knowledge from a registered dietitian without the obfuscatory jargon, I always turn to Marion Nestle. I recommend her What to Eat to anyone who wants to learn more about American food and food habits. Also, Ruth Reichl Tender at the Bone and her other writings are priceless.

Dec 11, 2010, 12:37pm

Great recommendations, thank you! :)

Oct 5, 2011, 12:28pm

I am currently coordinating a peer-learning group that is exploring the food system. We are using the book "Moveable Feasts" by Sarah Murray as a core reading book. The author has vividly captured how food has influenced culture and society...and the important role it plays in world events. Very fitting for a time when so much focus is on the journey From Farm to Fork!