Food and Eating in America. A Documentary Reader


James C. Giesen and Bryant Simon

Food and Eating in America covers more than 500 years of American food and eating history. Intended for history, food history, and a host of other courses, the book features a wide and diverse range of primary sources covering the cultivation, preparation, marketing, and consumption of food from the time before Europeans arrived in North America to the present-day United States. It is organized around what the authors label the “Four P’s”—production, politics, price, and preference—in order to show readers that food represents something more than nutrition and the daily meals that keep us alive. The documents in this book demonstrate that food we eat is a “highly condensed social fact” that both reflects and is shaped by politics, economics, culture, religion, region, race, class, and gender.

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