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Food Studies

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What You Don't Know About What You Eat

We don’t think much about how food gets to our tables, or what had to happen to fill our supermarket’s produce section with perfectly round red tomatoes and its meat counter with slabs of beautifully marbled steak. We don’t realize that the meat in one fast-food hamburger may come from a thousand different cattle raised in five different countries. In fact, most of us have a fairly abstract understanding of what happens on a farm. In America’s Food, Harvey Blatt gives us the specifics.

In today’s globally integrated food system, events in one part of the world can have multiple and wide-ranging effects, as has been shown by the recent and rapid global rise in food prices. Transnational corporations (TNCs) have been central to the development of this global food system, dominating production, international trade, processing, distribution, and retail sectors. Moreover, these global corporations play a key role in the establishment of rules and regulations by which they themselves are governed.

Science and Industrial Agriculture in California

Just south of San Francisco lies California’s Salinas Valley, the heart of a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry that dominates U. S. vegetable production. How did the sleepy valley described in the stories of John Steinbeck become the nation’s “salad bowl”? In Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power, Christopher R. Henke explores the ways that science helped build the Salinas Valley and California’s broader farm industry.

Renewing an Agriculture of the Middle

Agriculture in the United States today increasingly operates in two separate spheres: large, corporate-connected commodity production and distribution systems and small-scale farms that market directly to consumers. As a result, midsize family-operated farms find it increasingly difficult to find and reach markets for their products. They are too big to use the direct marketing techniques of small farms but too small to take advantage of corporate marketing and distribution systems.

Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America

Our morning cups of coffee connect us to a global industry and an export crisis in the tropics that is destroying livelihoods, undermining the cohesion of families and communities, and threatening ecosystems. Confronting the Coffee Crisis explores small-scale farming, the political economy of the global coffee industry, and initiatives that claim to promote more sustainable rural development in coffee-producing communities.

Alphabet City Magazine 12
Edited by John Knechtel

Food is essential to our sense of place and our sense of self, but today—as fast food nation meets the slow food movement and eating locally collides with on-demand arugula—our food habits are shifting. Food examines and imagines these changes, with projects by writers and artists that explore the cultural and emotional resonance of food, from the “everyday Dada” of mashed potatoes and Jell-O to the rocket science of food eaten by astronauts in space.

Extending Alternative Agriculture through Social Networks

American agriculture has doubled its use of pesticides since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of non-point-source water pollution--runoffs of pesticides, nutrients, and sediments into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.

The Contested Governance of European Food Safety

A series of food-related crises—most notably mad cow disease in Britain, farmer protests in France against American hormone-treated beef, and the European Union's banning of genetically modified food—has turned the regulation of food safety in Europe into a crucible for issues of institutional trust, legitimacy, and effectiveness. What's the Beef?

The contributors to this highly original collection of essays explore the relationship between food and architecture, asking what can be learned by examining the (often metaphorical) intersection of the preparation of meals and the production of space. In a culture that includes the Food Channel and the knife-juggling chefs of Benihana, food has become not only an obsession but an alternative art form.

Problems and Potential

This timely resources appears during a period when rising food prices are a subject of public concern and the entire food distribution system is encountering difficulty in handling upward pressures on operating costs. At this juncture, there is a need for a critical examination of inefficient and outdated procedures and operations within America's food distribution system.

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