Daily Archives: March 2, 2008

how we got here — food

Recently I’ve been exploring ideas about food: where our food comes from, the history of our food supply, and the time and resources we spend to feed ourselves. My inquiries about food and eating have even led me to the nature of pleasure itself. (Think of your favorite delectable bite of . . . pasta? Mashed potatoes and turnips? Sushi? Marzipan? )

Inspiring and aiding my search are some new titles that have been added to our nonfiction collection in the past few months. Typing “Food — History” or “Food habits — History” into the catalog using the subject field yields a stimulating list of titles. (Click on these links to see catalog lists that I’ve arranged in chronological order beginning with the most recent.) In the past month I’ve sampled these food books from the CLP collection:

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search For Food and Family

Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need To Get It Back

Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food

Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats

Here’s another book for this list of recommendations. Eighteen months after it was published, The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals is still so popular that there’s a long line of people waiting to check it out. But it’s newly out in paperback, so I bought my own copy and have been using the margins to write notes and mark provocative passages. This weekend I’m preparing to lead a new discussion group, Dish: A Foodie Book Club. If you have an appetite for food writing, join Dish on the First Floor, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 from 6 -7 PM. We’ll discuss Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma as well as graze on a fresh crop of books for subsequent discussions.


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