Weekend reading: Andy Smith’s latest encyclopedia, “Food in America”
Smith, Andrew F. Food in America: The Past, Present and Future of Food, Farming and the Family Meal. 3 vols. [Volume 1: Food and the Environment; Volume 2: Food and Health and Nutrition; Volume 3: Food and the Economy]. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2017.
The prolific and ever astonishing Andy Smith has done something breathtaking: produced a three-volume encyclopedia on the environmental, health, and economic implications of food–which he wrote in its entirety.
This is classic Andy Smith: well written, well referenced, highly accurate, and covering an enormous territory. He introduces each volume with an historical chapter and ends them with invaluable appendices giving chronological timelines and providing landmark documents. These last are wonderful to have in one place, although finding them is a challenge (there is no list at the front).
The work that must have gone into this is beyond comprehension. I’ve done timelines myself and have some idea of the amount of research needed to produce one. But he’s got three covering at least 200 years and in one case starting with the Ice Age.
If you collect food encyclopedias, as I do, you will want this one.
Here’s what’s in it:
VOLUME 1: FOOD AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Controversies: Going Forward 81
Climate Change 83
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) 100
Fish and Shellfish 126
Food Waste 143
Sustainable Food 193
Landmark Documents 219
Chronology of Landmark Events 345
Sources of Further Information 351
VOLUME 2: FOOD AND HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Controversies: Going Forward 77
Food Additives 107
Food Insecurity 118
Food Labeling 129
Foodborne Illness 145
Landmark Documents 213
Chronology of Landmark Events 339
Sources of Further Information 347
VOLUME 3: FOOD AND THE ECONOMY
Controversies: Going Forward 83
Advertising and Marketing 85
Fast Food 112
Food Corporations 126
Genetically Modified Food 141
Industrial Farming 171
Megagrocery Chains 207
Landmark Documents 217
Chronology of Landmark Events 331
Sources of Further Information 339