Food writing has been getting a lot of action this spring. Between the James Beard award’s recognition of food journalism and the Future of Food conference held by the Washington Post, it’s pretty clear that writing about food culture has finally arrived to popular discourse. But food is still a really touchy subject for many Americans, and we all know that we don’t like to be told what to eat, even if it’s good for us. This list is by no means exhaustive, especially since the body of food writing has gotten quite robust over the past few years. These are pieces that have helped me think about food writing, food culture and how the conversation is ebbing and flowing everyday:
- This article about Julia Childs by Micheal Pollan, seriously blew my mind when I read it a few summers ago. I don’t think I thought about food like this before I read this piece. It really caused me to think critically about the connections between pop culture and food and how the two interlace with politics.
- All hail the almighty lobster! I came across this piece in researching my high and low presentation found it a really great breakdown of the crustaceans rise to the top. Unfortunately because of the paywall you can’t access this but here is the title should you want to search it: “How lobster went up in the world” by Henderson, Mark (October 24, 2005). London: The Times.
- I used “Dining through the Decades” for a lot of my research on the history of food in the US in the 20th century. This piece does an exhaustive job going through the greatest hits in food and it’s evolution over the decades.
- “What Food Says about Class in America:” was also a piece I looked at not because I didn’t already know what this piece was going to say, but because I wanted to know what people have been reading in mainstream media. It’s not all that nuanced in the way it very simply breaks the conversation but there are a lot of people that feel this way about the current food talk. Likewise the “10 things that changed the way we eat” kind of obvious if you know anything about food, but a good way to look at as a food writer.
- This piece: “Why being a foodie isn’t elitist” came out the day after I did my high and low presentation. It always makes me pleased to find things in print that back up my theories, but it also made me realize that again, the conversation about food isn’t just about what’s for dinner. Food for Americans are a central part of identity, nourishment and for many a source of income.