Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


Main Title Kitchen literacy : how we lost knowledge of where food comes from and why we need to get it back /
Author Vileisis, Ann,
Publisher Island Press/Shearwater Books,
Year Published 2008
OCLC Number 645246303
ISBN 9781597267175; 1597267171
Subjects Cooking, American--History ; Food habits--United States--History ; Diet--United States--History
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
EIAM  TX645.V55 2008 Region 2 Library/New York,NY 01/31/2011
Edition [New].
Collation 343 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 257-320) and index.
Contents Notes
Introduction: Missing stories -- A meal by Martha -- To market, to market -- Mystifying the mundane -- Denaturing the senses -- A new longing for nature -- Rise of the modern food sensibility -- The covenant of ignorance -- Kitchen countertrends -- Epilogue: Returning stories to the modern kitchen -- Afterword: Toward a new kitchen literacy. Ask children where food comes from, and they’ll probably answer: "the supermarket." Ask most adults, and their replies may not be much different. Where our foods are raised and what happens to them between farm and supermarket shelf have become mysteries. How did we become so disconnected from the sources of our breads, beef, cheeses, cereal, apples, and countless other foods that nourish us every day? Ann Vileisis's answer is a journey through the history of making dinner, taking us from an eighteenth-century garden to today's sleek supermarket aisles, and eventually to the farmer's markets that are now enjoying a resurgence. Vileisis chronicles profound changes in how American cooks have considered their foods over two centuries and delivers a powerful statement: what we don't know could hurt us. As the distance between farm and table grew, we went from knowing particular places and specific stories behind our foods' origins to instead relying on advertisers' claims. The woman who raised, plucked, and cooked her own chicken knew its entire life history, while today most of us have no idea whether hormones were fed to our poultry. Industrialized eating is undeniably convenient, but it has also created health and environmental problems, including food-borne pathogens, toxic pesticides, and pollution from factory farms. Though the hidden costs of modern meals can be high, Vileisis shows that greater understanding can lead consumers to healthier and more sustainable choices.