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Eating History


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Prologue 1. Oliver Evans's Automated Mill 2. The Erie Canal 3. Delmonico's 4. Sylvester Graham's Reforms 5. Cyrus McCormick's Reaper 6. A Multiethnic Smorgasbord 7. Giving Thanks 8. Gail Borden's Canned Milk 9. The Homogenizing War 10. The Transcontinental Railroad 11. Fair Food 12. Henry Crowell's Quaker Special 13. Wilbur O. Atwater's Calorimeter 14. The Cracker Jack Snack 15. Fannie Farmer's Cookbook 16. The Kelloggs' Corn Flakes 17. Upton Sinclair's Jungle 18. Frozen Seafood and TV Dinners 19. Michael Cullen's Super Market 20. Earle MacAusland's Gourmet 21. Jerome I. Rodale's Organic Gardening 22. Percy Spencer's Radar 23. Frances Roth and Katharine Angell's CIA 24. McDonald's Drive-In 25. Julia Child, the French Chef 26. Jean Nidetch's Diet 27. Alice Waters's Chez Panisse 28. TVFN 29. The Flavr Savr 30. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spin-Offs Epilogue Bibliography

Promotional Information

The diet of the modern American wasn't always as corporate, conglomerated, and corn-rich as it is today, and the style of American cooking, along with the ingredients that compose it, has never been fixed. With a cast of characters including bold inventors, savvy restaurateurs, ruthless advertisers, mad scientists, adventurous entrepreneurs, celebrity chefs, and relentless health nuts, Andrew F. Smith pins down the truly crackerjack history behind the way America eats.Smith's delectable narrative opens with early America, an agriculturally independent nation in which most citizens grew and consumed their own food. Over the next two hundred years, Americans would cultivate an entirely different approach to crops and consumption. Advances in food processing, transportation, regulation, nutrition, and science introduced highly complex and mechanized methods of production. The proliferation of cookbooks, cooking shows, and professionally designed kitchens made meals more commercially, politically, and culturally meaningful. To better understand these trends, Smith delves deeply and humorously into their creation, ultimately showing how, by revisiting this history, we can reclaim the independent, local, and sustainable roots of American food.

About the Author

Andrew F. Smith teaches food studies at the New School University in New York City. He has published more than three hundred articles on food and food history and has authored or edited seventeen books, including Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War and the Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America. Smith has also appeared on television shows airing on PBS, the History Channel, and the Food Network.


Easy-to-digest prose and modest portions make these stories compulsively readable, and reveal new angles on old stories.Publishers Weekly (starred review) Publishers Weekly (starred review) Clear and engaging... erudite and entertaining... Recommended. Choice Eating History covers an enormous amount of ground and is something of a mini-encyclopedia with many entries, each densely packed with information. Smith is a talented storyteller, so the copious facts and figures are presented well, nicely sprinkled with interesting anecdotes. -- Sylvia Lovegren Gastronomica ...a great read...

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