The Race against Rot: Gastronomica’s New Editorial Team Weighs In on Saving Food

Compiled and edited by Anelyse M. Weiler, Sarah Elton, and Josée Johnston.

Gastronomica’s incoming editorial team gathered in Toronto this past fall to discuss the future of food studies and pressing issues for food scholars today. The new team explored the theme of “saving food” as part of a public roundtable hosted by the University of Toronto’s Culinaria Research Centre. What questions should researchers and food studies practitioners be prioritizing to address the issue of saving food? What are some of the creative new ways of exploring the field? What needs saving, who ought to do it, and what should be left to molder away? To hear what Gastronomica’s new editorial team thinks about these issues in food studies, we asked (some of) them to weigh in on four questions, including a fun glimpse into how they “save” food in their own kitchens.

  • Simone Cinotto (Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Gastronomic
    Sciences)
  • Paula Johnson (Curator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History)
  • Eric C. Rath (Professor of History at the University of Kansas)
  • Krishnendu Ray (Associate Professor and Chair of Nutrition and Food Studies at New
    York University)
  • Signe Rousseau (Lecturer in Critical Literacy and Professional Communication at the University of Cape Town)
  • Amy Trubek (Professor in Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont)
  • Robert Valgenti (Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College)
  • Helen Zoe Veit (Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University)

What does food need to be saved from?

Johnson: Imagine a world without field plows and fishing boats, cauldrons and cooking tools, family recipes and restaurant menus, culinary correspondence and kitchen stories from places and people in the past. That world, bereft of the historical material culture of food, would be a dismal and oblivious place without tangible connections to the ideas, innovations, and understandings about food, in the broadest sense, from those who came before us. Curators, librarians, and archivists are savers. Through collecting, preserving, and providing public access to rich materials, we help researchers discover treasure troves of data
about who we are, where we’ve been, and what has mattered over time. Our collections continue to reveal new insights on diverse aspects of food history—cultural, social, political, environmental, technological. They provide evidence of people and places that might otherwise be forgotten. And because they are saved for perpetuity, we can only imagine how new
technologies, such as the experimental (emerging?) field of proteomics, might uncover new layers of insight through the analysis of proteins left on the literal pages of history.

Rath: Not all historians recognize the importance of food, though! Food needs to be saved from its perceived banality. It’s not just consumers who take food for granted by expecting seventy brands of breakfast cereal in the supermarket and watermelon in the winter. For far too long historians, particularly in my field of Japanese history, have simply ignored food unless it is relevant to crises such as famine or war. Yet, food is always central to daily life and it needs to be made central to history in the same way that gender, race, or class cannot be ignored.

Rousseau: On the other hand, food needs to be saved from being fetishized, and wasted.

Read more

Fall 2017, Volume 17 Number 3

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Fall 2017, Volume 17 Number 3

FROM THE EDITOR
Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

CULINARY GLOBALIZATION AND HERITAGE POLITICS: CHINA, JAPAN, AND SOUTH KOREA
Global Engagement for Local and Indigenous Tastes: Culinary Globalization
in East Asia | Stephanie Assmann

Let Them Eat Royal Court Cuisine! Heritage Politics of Defining Global Hansik | Chi-Hoon Kim

Culinary Politics in Japan: The Shokuiku Campaign | Stephanie Assmann

The Cultural Politics of Food: Rice as an Anti-Globalization
Project | Ding-Tzann Lii

Kyoto Cuisine Gone Global | Greg de St. Maurice

Beyond Merroir: The Okinawan Taste for Clams | C. Anne Claus

The Transformation of Pig Feasts in Rural Northeast China |
Ann Veeck, Hongyan Yu, and Gregory Veeck

China’s Emerging Food Media: Promoting Culinary Heritage in the
Global Age | Lanlan Kuang

Historical Reflections on Culinary Globalization in East Asia | Eric C. Rath

CREATIVE REFLECTIONS
Cooking for Democracy | Joseph Heathcott

Griswold No. 10. | Andrew Furman

REVIEW ESSAY
Food Culture at the Margins of Consumption: Two New Books on Eating
Disorders | Emily J.H. Contois

REVIEWS
Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in
Honour of Jack Goody
Edited by Jakob A. Klein and Anne Murcott, Reviewed by Jesse Dart

Just Food: Philosophy, Justice and Food
Edited by J.M. Dieterle, Reviewed by Pascale Joassart-Marcelli

Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World
By Markman Ellis, Richard Coulton, and Matthew Mauger, Reviewed by
Lawrence Zhang

The Brewer’s Tale: A History of the World According to Beer
By William Bostwick, Reviwed by Aaron Ellis

Tasting French Terroir: The History of an Idea
By Thomas Parker, Reviewed by Cristina Adele Solazzo

BOOKS AND FILMS RECEIVED

Call for Editor(s)

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University of California Press is seeking a new editor for its journal, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. This quarterly, peer-reviewed publication has been serving the field of food studies since 2001. This position will succeed Melissa Caldwell when her term completes in December 2018.

Gastronomica is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, international journal publishing critical, translational studies on food. In the pages of Gastronomica, you will find examinations of historical trends and transformations in food and eating; analyses of the political, economic, and social dimensions of food production and consumption; research briefs on emerging issues in fields related to food research and innovation; and interviews with key figures in the world of food (scholars, activists, producers, and consumers). With cutting-edge research and explorations of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of food studies.

The Editor will be responsible for soliciting, reviewing and making final decisions on submissions to the journal and will manage all aspects of the publication and review process working with an editorial board and UC Press staff as appropriate.

Applicants should have a distinguished scholarly record in the field of food studies, anthropology, sociology, or related fields. Previous journal editorial experience is preferred, but not required. Applicants should possess strong organizational and management skills, the ability to work with others and a commitment to publishing high quality, relevant, and engaging scholarship.

Applicants should develop and share their vision and strategy for Gastronomica including mission, aims and scope, strategies for developing and acquiring content, and Editorial Board structure.

University of California Press offers a modest stipend for editorial support for this position.

Applicants should send a letter of application including their vision for the future of the journal, description of qualifications for the position, a current CV, and a description of any potential institutional support to:

Rachel Lee
Journals Manager
University of California Press

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications by January 30th 2018, although applications will be considered on an ongoing basis.