A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman,Andrew Coe

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By Jane Ziegelman,Andrew Coe

James Beard beginning publication Award Winner

From the writer of the acclaimed 97 Orchard and her husband, a culinary historian, an in-depth exploration of the best nutrients trouble the kingdom has ever faced—the nice Depression—and the way it remodeled America’s culinary culture.

The decade-long nice melancholy, a interval of shifts within the country’s political and social panorama, endlessly replaced the way in which the USA eats. ahead of 1929, America’s dating with foodstuff was once outlined via abundance. however the cave in of the economic climate, in either city and rural the USA, left 1 / 4 of all americans out of labor and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions in regards to the limitlessness of the nationwide larder.

In 1933, as girls struggled to feed their households, President Roosevelt reversed long-standing biases towards government-sponsored “food charity.” For the 1st time in American historical past, the government assumed, for your time, accountability for feeding its voters. the consequences have been common. Championed by means of Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had lengthy fought to convey technology into the kitchen rose to nationwide stature.

Tapping into America’s long-standing ambivalence towards culinary leisure, they imposed their imaginative and prescient of a robust, utilitarian food at the American dinner desk. in the course of the Bureau of domestic Economics, those girls led a sweeping crusade to instill nutritional thoughts, the forerunners of today’s nutritional guidance for Americans.

At a similar time, emerging nutrients conglomerates brought packaged and processed meals that gave upward thrust to a brand new American food in keeping with velocity and comfort. This circulation towards a homogenized nationwide food sparked a revival of yankee nearby cooking. within the resulting a long time, the stress among neighborhood traditions and culinary technological know-how has outlined our nationwide cuisine—a conflict that keeps at the present time.

A sq. Meal examines the impression of monetary contraction and environmental catastrophe on how americans ate then—and the teachings and insights these reports might carry for us today.

A sq. Meal positive aspects 25 black-and-white photographs.

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