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Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart

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In recent years, the integrity of food production and distribution has become an issue of wide social concern. The media frequently report on cases of food contamination as well as on the risks of hormones and cloning. Journalists, documentary filmmakers, and activists have had their say, but until now a survey of the latest research on the history of the modern food-provisioning system—the network that connects farms and fields to supermarkets and the dining table—has been unavailable. In Food Chains, Warren Belasco and Roger Horowitz present a collection of fascinating case studies that reveal the historical underpinnings and institutional arrangements that compose this system.

The dozen essays in Food Chains range widely in subject, from the pig, poultry, and seafood industries to the origins of the shopping cart. The book examines what it took to put ice in nineteenth-century refrigerators, why Soviet citizens could buy ice cream whenever they wanted, what made Mexican food popular in France, and why Americans turned to commercial pet food in place of table scraps for their dogs and cats. Food Chains goes behind the grocery shelves, explaining why Americans in the early twentieth century preferred to buy bread rather than make it and how Southerners learned to like self-serve shopping. Taken together, these essays demonstrate the value of a historical perspective on the modern food-provisioning system.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Food Chains is a significant achievement, reflecting original work from a variety of disciplines and offering penetrating insights on the complex connections among the different components of food-supply chains."—Business History Review

"The essays in this book . . . help us to discover what we might learn from the past and identify what might aid us in interpreting our food provisioning system in the future."—Food and Foodways

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812221343
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Series: Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 926,696
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Warren Belasco is Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and author of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food. Roger Horowitz is Associate Director of the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society and author of Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, Transformation.
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Table of Contents

1 Making Food Chains: The Book Roger Horowitz 1

Part I Overview

2 How Much Depends on Dinner? Warren Belasco 9

3 Analyzing Commodity Chains: Linkages or Restraints? Shane Hamilton 16

Part II Animals

4 Lard to Lean: Making the Meat-Type Hog in Post-World War II America J.L. Anderson 29

5 The Chicken, the Factory Farm, and the Supermarket: The Emergence of the Modern Poultry Industry in Britain Andrew C. Godley Bridget Williams 47

6 Trading Quality, Producing Value: Crabmeat, HACCP, and Global Seafood Trade Kelly Feltault 62

Part III Processing

7 Anchovy Sauce and Pickled Tripe: Exporting Civilized Food in the Colonial Atlantic World Richard R. Wilk 87

8 What's Left at the Bottom of the Glass: The Quest for Purity and the Development of the American Natural Ice Industry Jonathan Rees 108

9 Provisioning Man's Best Friend: The Early Years of the American Pet Food Industry, 1870-1942 Katherine C. Grier 126

10 Empire of Ice Cream: How Life Became Sweeter in the Postwar Soviet Union Jenny Leigh Smith 142

11 Eating Mexican in a Global Age: The Politics and Production of Ethnic Food Jeffrey M. Pilcher 158

Part IV Sales

12 The Aristocracy of the Market Basket: Self-Service Food Shopping in the New South Lisa C. Tolbert 179

13 Making Markets Marxist? The East European Grocery Store from Rationing to Rationality to Rationalizations Patrick Hyder Patterson 196

14 Tools and Spaces: Food and Cooking in Working-Class Neighborhoods, 1880-1930 Katherine Leonard Turner 217

15 Wheeling One's Groceries around the Store: The Invention of the Shopping Cart, 1936-1953 Catherine Grandclément 233

Notes 253

List of Contributors 295

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