From Essays on School Lunches to Diet Advice, Recent Books on Food

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Jean-Claude Kaufmann argues that the acts of creating and consuming are how we create meaningful relationships with lovers, friends

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Here are some of the books that have drifted my way recently. These in particular are about food and cooking.

Jean-Claude Kaufmann, The Meaning of Cooking, Polity 2010. Kaufmann is professor of sociology at the Sorbonne. Here, he argues that the ordinary acts of creating and consuming food are how we create our most meaningful relationships with lovers, spouses, and offspring.

Alice D. Kamps. What's Cooking Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet. Records from the National Archives. This is the terrific catalog of the terrific exhibit now playing at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., until January 3, 2012. The catalog contains most (not all, alas) of the illustrations from the exhibit. These deal with the government's role in farming, food products, dietary advice, meals for the military, and other such matters.

Janet M. Cramer et al, editors. Food as Communication; Communication as Food, Peter Lang 2011. This is a collection of essays on scholarly food discourses, ranging from media coverage of school lunches to local, organic foods. I blurbed this one: "Food as Communiction is a wonderful introduction to the field of food studies research. These authors watched movies and television, examined package labels, visited exotic places, delved in wonderful libraries, and ate great food."

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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