Fall 2019, Volume 19 Number 3

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FROM THE EDITOR
Editor’s Letter | Daniel Bender

PRESERVATIONS
The Race against Rot: Gastronomica’s New Editorial Team Weighs in on Saving Food | Anelyse M. Weiler, Sarah Elton, and Josée Johnston, eds

Preservation Pedagogy | Donna Gabaccia, with Nana Frimpong and Gillian MacCulloch

Food Savers or Food Saviors? Food Waste, Food Recovery Networks, and Food Justice | Leda Cooks

SURVIVALS
Survival in a Climate of Change: The Origins and Evolution of Nomadic Dairying in Mongolia | Paul S. Kindstedt and Tsetsgee Ser-Od

Sourcing and Saving Food in Siberian Kitchens | Sharon Hudgins

PRACTICES/TRADITIONS
Un-Modernist Cuisine | Helen Veit with Sean Sherman and Elizabeth Woody

Savoring Decay: Cheese, Heritage, and the Allure of Imminent Dissolution | Harry G. West

The Art of Saving Food: Preserving Gestures in Ymane Fakhirs Video Installation, Handmade (2011–12) | Sylvie Durmelat

SALVATIONS/WELL-BEING
The Gastronomical “She”: Narrating (Dis)Embodiment in M.F.K. Fisher’s Memoir | Victoria Burns

Saving Food, Saving Culture

Happy Treat: Food and Drink as Important Parts of Daily Life and Happiness | Ines Sučić, Tihana Brkljačić, Ljiljana Kaliterna Lipovčan, Renata Glavak-Tkalić, Lana Lučić

REVIEWS
French Gastronomy and the Magic of Americanism
By Rick Fantasia, reviewed by Sarah Cappeliez

Sugar and the Making of International Trade Law
By Michael Fakhri, reviewed by Ernesto Hernández-López

Food and Health in Early Modern Europe: Diet, Medicine and Society, 1450–1800
By David Gentilcore, reviewed by Ellen M. Ireland

Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do about It
By Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott, reviewed by Josée Johnston

Feed the Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved
By Julia Turshen, reviewed by Jennifer O’Connor

Potato
By Rebecca Earle, reviewed by Amy Trubek

Keepers of the Future: La Coordinadora of El Salvador
By Avi Lewis, Director, reviewed by Anelyse M. Weiler

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.

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