Podcast Dispatches from Vol. 21: What to Read Now with Melissa Fuster

For our sixth season of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who have contributed to our third issue of 2021, edited by Krishnendu Ray, and featuring articles and creative pieces which collectively address the issue of “gastropolitics,” as described in that issue’s editorial letter. You can find all previous episodes in the series under “Web Exclusives.”

For this episode, Reviews Editor and Collective member Jaclyn Rohel highlights three titles recently reviewed in Issue 21.4 which may be of interest to both food scholars and lay readers of topics related to food production, consumption, and representation:

The Uncertainty Mindset: Innovation Insights from the Frontiers of Food, by Vaughn Tan

FoodWISE: A Whole Systems Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Food Choices, by Gigi Berardi

Tasting Difference: Food, Race, and Cultural Encounters in Early Modern Literature, by Gitanjali G. Shahani

Jackie is then joined by Gastronomica colleague Melissa Fuster to discuss Melissa’s new book, Caribeños at the Table: How Migration, Health, and Race Intersect in New York City (UNC Press, 2021). An expert in both public health nutrition and food studies, Melissa weaves together research in history, policy, health, and everyday life to connect newcomers’ culinary practices to the complex structural factors that shape well-being. Melissa also discusses how this work led her to develop her community-based research initiative, the Latin American Restaurants in Action Project.

Podcast Dispatches From Issue 21.2: Michaël Bruckert

For our fifth series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who have contributed to our recently published second issue of 2021, featuring articles on topics including commensality and creative collaboration, the politics of food systems, and race and representation.

In this episode, Editorial Collective member Melissa Fuster is joined by author Michaël Bruckert, whose recently published article (“Chicken Politics: Agrifood Capitalism, Anxious Bodies, and the New Meanings of Chicken Meat in India“) explores meat industrialization in South India. Recounting his fieldwork in the region of Tamil Nadu, Bruckert traces the commoditization of poultry, from farms, markets, and butcher shops to eateries, home kitchens, and consumers’ plates. In this global South context, he explains how recent developments in animal agriculture have changed how people think about chicken – as animal and as meat – and have in the process materially transformed the chicken itself.

Podcast Dispatches from Issue 21.1: Amy Bentley

For our fourth series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who have contributed to our upcoming first issue of 2021, which continues to feature COVID-19 Dispatches, but also original research articles around the themes of the relationship between food, power and politics, cultivating relationships, and sustaining memories.

For this last episode of our current season, historian Amy Bentley returns to the show to discuss the politics of food and nutrition with Editorial Collective member Melissa Fuster. She traces how the Reagan administration 40 years ago shifted (deliberately or inadvertently) the classification of ketchup from a condiment to a vegetable in an effort to overhaul national school lunch programs and cut government costs, a move that disproportionately affected the health of lower-income children.

Podcast Dispatches from Issue 20.4: John Gifford

For our third series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who contributed to our final issue of 2020, which continues to feature COVID-19 Dispatches, but also original research articles around the themes of “Working with Ingredients”, “Taste and Technology in East Asia”, “Excursions”, and “Dolce”.

In this episode, Editorial Collective member Melissa Fuster is joined by John Gifford to discuss salmon and sustainability, drawing from his recently published article “Salmon on the Table” (featured as part of Working with Ingredients in the latest issue). Taking us to the waters off the coast of Vancouver Island, he explores the environmental effects of aquaculture, which is growing to meet global demands for fish. He then looks to Lake Michigan to offer an alternative model of fishing that is both sustainable and in harmony with Indigenous culture.