13 June 2014 – white bread and food politics

I have just been listening to Aaron Bobrow-Strain of Whitman College in the U.S. talking about his book White Bread: a social history of the store bought loaf (Beacon 2012) as I am doing some research on the wheat to bread supply chain. It sounds not only a fascinating social history but, as the author says, bread provides a perfect product for anyone interested in food politics. He uses this global industrially produced food to provide insights into changing diet and opposing factions as they argue about the industrial food system.

 As the promo for the book relates:

White Bread teaches us that when Americans debate what one should eat, they are also wrestling with larger questions of race, class, immigration, and gender. As Bobrow-Strain traces the story of bread, from the first factory loaf to the latest gourmet pain au levain, he shows how efforts to champion “good food” reflect dreams of a better society-even as they reinforce stark social hierarchies.

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