All posts tagged: food systems

Forecasting a Bright Future from the 2013 Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Conference

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the 7th annual Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Research Conference at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Organized and run by Friedman graduate students, the conference was as engaging and polished as any put on by a professional organization. Graduate student research dealt with a host of topics both international and domestic, ranging from food access, food prices, and property values near grocery stores to behavior change and breastfeeding. Presentations that I attended also explored childhood obesity in Indonesia, regional U.S. food systems, and the latest in molecular nutrition. Students came from diverse backgrounds, including not only nutrition policy, biochemical and molecular nutrition, public health, and medicine, but also environmental science, agriculture, economics, urban and environmental planning; not to mention food studies and gastronomy as well. Collectively, presenters brought valuable multidisciplinary perspectives to the topics of food, nutrition, and food systems. Beyond attending thought provoking panels, I participated in the poster presentation, giving two-minute power pitches on the paper I …

Curating an Online Food Exhibit: “Making the Modern American Food System”

After studying the food views of second-wave feminists, the cuisines of the counterculture and the 1950s, and the foodways of turn-of-the century immigrants, Dr. Warren Belasco’s U.S. Food History course turned to specific histories of the industrial food system—from the Dust Bowl to the industrialization of milk production to the rise and triumph of refrigeration. At each stage, we pondered how these events, people, and institutions contributed to both America’s abundant, cheap food supply and the distancing of Americans from traditional food knowledge. The course culminated in our final project assignment: creating an online food exhibit dedicated to the creation of the modern American food system. And so I invite you to visit my online exhibit, “Making the Modern American Food System.”

Curating the History of Freshness

In Fresh: A Perishable History, Susanne Freidberg chronicles the fascinating history of how refrigeration expanded the reach of the industrial food system, forever altering not only the world’s food supply, but also how consumers view freshness and conceptualize its meaning. She tells this story through a series of mini-histories focusing on specific foods: beef, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk, and fish. In doing so, she reveals the many meanings of “fresh,” five of which are discussed in the following five images. 1. The Refrigerator Consumers once got along without refrigeration, shopping frequently and preserving food by canning, drying, and pickling. In fact, consumers were at first wary of refrigeration, though World War I marked a turning point. While meat and wheat were shipped to the warfront, American civilians were encouraged to consume fresh foods, unsuitable for shipment to soldiers. Consuming fresh produce, eggs, and dairy products were considered acts of both patriotism (as seen in this WWI food poster) and scientifically based health promotion, confirming the new place of these foods in the American diet and the role …