Expiration dates and how they are misunderstood

They have taken on mythic proportions in the American culture, but do we really understand the implications of expiration dates? Nicola Temple describes the contribution of expiration dates to increasing food waste in Best Before as has Tristram Stuart in Waste. Do these dates serve a useful purpose or do they do more harm than good? One perspective is offered by the comedian Jerry Seinfeld. … Continue reading Expiration dates and how they are misunderstood

Best Before: The Evolution and Future of Processed Food

After so many popular books that take the food industry and the processed food to task, it is nice to read one that approaches the topic from a rational viewpoint. In Best Before Nicola Temple presents a much more balanced view than most contemporary books on food. Many of her points are easy for defenders of processed food like me to embrace. As expected, there … Continue reading Best Before: The Evolution and Future of Processed Food

Foodies vs. Aggies: Compromise for a New Food System?

Who is to blame for America’s unsustainable, unhealthy food system? A. Big Ag, B. Big Food, C. Both of the above, D. None of the above. Robert Paarlberg had an answer to this question for the audience during the D.W. Brooks Lecture at the University of Georgia earlier this month. Read on to see that answer. Paarlberg is one of my favorite authors. I required … Continue reading Foodies vs. Aggies: Compromise for a New Food System?

How the middleman morphed into the supply chain

What used to be called the middleman is now referred to as the supply chain. The middleman has long been viewed as the bogeyman who steals from both the farmer and the consumer with a mere 30% or so of what the consumer pays ending up back on the farm. It is now becoming clear that the supply chain performs critical functions in getting fresh … Continue reading How the middleman morphed into the supply chain

Impacts of US/African collaborative research

When groups in wealthier nations try to help out citizens in countries not as wealthy, there is always the danger of a helper’s arrogance by failing to take the time to understand the culture of the host country. Last week, I mentioned such a situation with respect to Nelson Rockefeller trying to bring the wonders of the modern American supermarket to Venezuela as described in Supermarket … Continue reading Impacts of US/African collaborative research

Supermarket USA: Food Power in the Cold War Farms Race

Was the modern American supermarket a pawn in the battle between capitalism and communism during the Cold War? Was the battle strictly between free enterprise and a controlled economy OR did the Americans tip the scales? Shane Hamilton poses these and other questions in what I consider to be a masterpiece in the history-of-food genre. Hamilton is particularly good at mixing historical scholarship with an … Continue reading Supermarket USA: Food Power in the Cold War Farms Race

Canned revisited: The author and the blogger conclude their dialog

In the third installment of their discussion Anna Zeide the author of Canned and the blogger resume their dialog and delve deeper into the differences between the perspectives of food movement and the food industry. They conclude that it is better for people with sharply differing views on food in America to talk to each other rather than talk past each other. Would you care … Continue reading Canned revisited: The author and the blogger conclude their dialog

Canned revisited: A dialog between the author and the blogger continued

Last week Anna Zeide, the author of Canned, questioned the blogger about aspects he covered in his four-part series on the book. This week they resume their dialog and explore the differences between the food movement and the food industry to see if there is truly middle ground between the two perspectives. Once again, the author tends to ask more questions, and the blogger tends to … Continue reading Canned revisited: A dialog between the author and the blogger continued

Canned revisited: A dialog between the author and the blogger

After the four-part series on this blog about the meaningful book Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry earlier this summer, the author Anna Zeide and I engaged in a productive dialog via email. She raised some questions for me that led to a conversation, which I’ll reproduce here on the blog over the next three weeks. Can these two professionals engage … Continue reading Canned revisited: A dialog between the author and the blogger