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Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food (California Studies in Food and Culture #16)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this provocative and lively addition to his acclaimed writings on food, Warren Belasco takes a sweeping look at a little-explored yet timely topic: humanity's deep-rooted anxiety about the future of food. People have expressed their worries about the future of the food supply in myriad ways, and here Belasco explores a fascinating array of material ranging over two hundred years — from futuristic novels and films to world's fairs, Disney amusement parks, supermarket and restaurant architecture, organic farmers' markets, debates over genetic engineering, and more. Placing food issues in this deep historical context, he provides an innovative framework for understanding the future of food today — when new prophets warn us against complacency at the same time that new technologies offer promising solutions. But will our grandchildren's grandchildren enjoy the cornucopian bounty most of us take for granted? This first history of the future to put food at the center of the story provides an intriguing perspective on this question for anyone — from general readers to policy analysts, historians, and students of the future — who has wondered about the future of life's most basic requirement.

Review:

"The ways in which 'the future of food' has been addressed in the past are myriad, as detailed by University of Maryland American Studies professor Belasco. In this heavily annotated study, Belasco (Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry) focuses on 'a long-standing romantic fascination with extravagant technology alongside a rich tradition of skepticism and alarm.' Part one, 'Debating the Future of Food,' explores how questions of food security and supply have been framed and discussed over the centuries, with a focus on the recent past. Part two, 'Imagining the Future of Food' is subtitled 'Speculative Fiction,' and covers food utopias and dystopias — or idealizations and nightmare scenarios for how and what people will eat. Part three, 'Things To Come' is subtitled 'Three Cornucopian Futures.' It details 'material assertions of optimism as found in world's fairs, restaurants, stores and kitchens — as well as in upbeat feature stories that function largely to sell the cornucopian future' and covers most of the 20th century. A postscript covers the future as currently envisioned. The discussion is smart and comprehensive, but dense. With 24 b/w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright © Reed Business Information)

Review:

"Belasco's prose is easygoing and professorially humane." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"While Belasco doesn't commit to making any predictions on the future of food himself, this history of the debate between Malthusians and cornucopians provides intriguing background on humanity's anxiety regarding the food supply." Library Journal

Review:

"An ingenious analysis of the way in which optimists and pessimists alike use food to illustrate their vision of the future." The Economist

Review:

"Warren Belasco is a witty, wonderfully observant guide to the hopes and fears that every era projects onto its culinary future. This enlightening study reads like time-travel for foodies." Laura Shapiro, author of Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America

Review:

"In his insightful look at human imaginings about their food and its future sufficiency, Warren Belasco makes use of everything from academic papers, films, and fiction to journalism, advertising and world's fairs to trace a pattern of public concern over two centuries. His wide-ranging scholarship humbles all would-be futurists by reminding us that ours is not the first generation, nor is it likely to be the last, to argue inconclusively about whether we can best feed the world with more spoons, better manners or a larger pie. Truly painless education; a wonderful read!" Joan Dye Gussow, author This Organic Life

Review:

"Warren Belasco serves up an intellectual feast, brilliantly dissecting two centuries of expectations regarding the future of food and hunger. Meals to Come provides an essential guide to thinking clearly about the worrisome question as to whether the world can ever be adequately and equitably fed." Joseph J. Corn, co-author of Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future

Review:

"This astute, sly, warmly human critique of the basic belly issues that have absorbed and defined Americans politically, socially, and economically for the past 200 years is a knockout. Warren Belasco's important book, crammed with knowledge, is absolutely necessary for an understanding of where we are now." Betty Fussell, author of My Kitchen Wars

Synopsis:

"Warren Belasco is a witty, wonderfully observant guide to the hopes and fears that every era projects onto its culinary future. This enlightening study reads like time-travel for foodies."—Laura Shapiro, author of Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America

"In his insightful look at human imaginings about their food and its future sufficiency, Warren Belasco makes use of everything from academic papers, films, and fiction to journalism, advertising and worlds fairs to trace a pattern of public concern over two centuries. His wide-ranging scholarship humbles all would-be futurists by reminding us that ours is not the first generation, nor is it likely to be the last, to argue inconclusively about whether we can best feed the world with more spoons, better manners or a larger pie. Truly painless education; a wonderful read!"—Joan Dye Gussow, author This Organic Life

"Warren Belasco serves up an intellectual feast, brilliantly dissecting two centuries of expectations regarding the future of food and hunger. Meals to Come provides an essential guide to thinking clearly about the worrisome question as to whether the world can ever be adequately and equitably fed."—Joseph J. Corn, co-author of Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future

"This astute, sly, warmly human critique of the basic belly issues that have absorbed and defined Americans politically, socially, and economically for the past 200 years is a knockout. Warren Belascos important book, crammed with knowledge, is absolutely necessary for an understanding of where we are now."—Betty Fussell, author of My Kitchen Wars

About the Author

Warren Belasco, Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry and Americans on the Road: From Autocamp to Motel and coeditor of Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies.

Table of Contents

Preface

PART I. DEBATING THE FUTURE OF FOOD: THE BATTLE OF THE THINK TANKS

1. The Stakes in Our Steaks

2. The Debate: Will the World Run Out of Food?

3. The Deep Structure of the Debate

PART II. IMAGINING THE FUTURE OF FOOD: SPECULATIVE FICTION

4. The Utopian Caveat

5. Dystopias

PART III. THINGS TO COMEE: THREE CORNUCOPIAN FUTURES

6. The Classical Future

7. The Modernist Future

8. The Recombinant Future

Postscript

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520250352
Author:
Belasco, Warren
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Belasco, Warren James
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
History
Subject:
Food
Subject:
Food supply
Subject:
Food -- History.
Subject:
Cooking and Food-General
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
California Studies in Food and Culture
Series Volume:
16
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 b/w photographs
Pages:
393
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.88 in 19 oz

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food (California Studies in Food and Culture #16) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$39.75 Backorder
Product details 393 pages University of California Press - English 9780520250352 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The ways in which 'the future of food' has been addressed in the past are myriad, as detailed by University of Maryland American Studies professor Belasco. In this heavily annotated study, Belasco (Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry) focuses on 'a long-standing romantic fascination with extravagant technology alongside a rich tradition of skepticism and alarm.' Part one, 'Debating the Future of Food,' explores how questions of food security and supply have been framed and discussed over the centuries, with a focus on the recent past. Part two, 'Imagining the Future of Food' is subtitled 'Speculative Fiction,' and covers food utopias and dystopias — or idealizations and nightmare scenarios for how and what people will eat. Part three, 'Things To Come' is subtitled 'Three Cornucopian Futures.' It details 'material assertions of optimism as found in world's fairs, restaurants, stores and kitchens — as well as in upbeat feature stories that function largely to sell the cornucopian future' and covers most of the 20th century. A postscript covers the future as currently envisioned. The discussion is smart and comprehensive, but dense. With 24 b/w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright © Reed Business Information)
"Review" by , "Belasco's prose is easygoing and professorially humane."
"Review" by , "While Belasco doesn't commit to making any predictions on the future of food himself, this history of the debate between Malthusians and cornucopians provides intriguing background on humanity's anxiety regarding the food supply."
"Review" by , "An ingenious analysis of the way in which optimists and pessimists alike use food to illustrate their vision of the future."
"Review" by , "Warren Belasco is a witty, wonderfully observant guide to the hopes and fears that every era projects onto its culinary future. This enlightening study reads like time-travel for foodies."
"Review" by , "In his insightful look at human imaginings about their food and its future sufficiency, Warren Belasco makes use of everything from academic papers, films, and fiction to journalism, advertising and world's fairs to trace a pattern of public concern over two centuries. His wide-ranging scholarship humbles all would-be futurists by reminding us that ours is not the first generation, nor is it likely to be the last, to argue inconclusively about whether we can best feed the world with more spoons, better manners or a larger pie. Truly painless education; a wonderful read!"
"Review" by , "Warren Belasco serves up an intellectual feast, brilliantly dissecting two centuries of expectations regarding the future of food and hunger. Meals to Come provides an essential guide to thinking clearly about the worrisome question as to whether the world can ever be adequately and equitably fed."
"Review" by , "This astute, sly, warmly human critique of the basic belly issues that have absorbed and defined Americans politically, socially, and economically for the past 200 years is a knockout. Warren Belasco's important book, crammed with knowledge, is absolutely necessary for an understanding of where we are now."
"Synopsis" by ,
"Warren Belasco is a witty, wonderfully observant guide to the hopes and fears that every era projects onto its culinary future. This enlightening study reads like time-travel for foodies."—Laura Shapiro, author of Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America

"In his insightful look at human imaginings about their food and its future sufficiency, Warren Belasco makes use of everything from academic papers, films, and fiction to journalism, advertising and worlds fairs to trace a pattern of public concern over two centuries. His wide-ranging scholarship humbles all would-be futurists by reminding us that ours is not the first generation, nor is it likely to be the last, to argue inconclusively about whether we can best feed the world with more spoons, better manners or a larger pie. Truly painless education; a wonderful read!"—Joan Dye Gussow, author This Organic Life

"Warren Belasco serves up an intellectual feast, brilliantly dissecting two centuries of expectations regarding the future of food and hunger. Meals to Come provides an essential guide to thinking clearly about the worrisome question as to whether the world can ever be adequately and equitably fed."—Joseph J. Corn, co-author of Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future

"This astute, sly, warmly human critique of the basic belly issues that have absorbed and defined Americans politically, socially, and economically for the past 200 years is a knockout. Warren Belascos important book, crammed with knowledge, is absolutely necessary for an understanding of where we are now."—Betty Fussell, author of My Kitchen Wars

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