Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health

Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health

Eating Right in America is a powerful critique of dietary reform in the United States from the late nineteenth-century emergence of nutritional science through the contemporary alternative food movement and campaign against obesity. Charlotte Biltekoff analyzes the discourses of dietary reform, including the writings of reformers, as well as the materials they created to bring their messages to the public. She shows that while the primary aim may be to improve health, the process of teaching people to "eat right" in the U.S. inevitably involves shaping certain kinds of subjects and citizens, and shoring up the identity and social boundaries of the ever-threatened American middle class. Without discounting the pleasures of food or the value of wellness, Biltekoff advocates a critical reappraisal of our obsession with diet as a proxy for health. Based on her understanding of the history of dietary reform, she argues that talk about "eating right" in America too often obscures structural and environmental stresses and constraints, while naturalizing the dubious redefinition of health as an individual responsibility and imperative.

Title:Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780822355595
Format Type:

    Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health Reviews

  • Darren

    One must be forgiven for recollecting stereotypes, but when you contrast the marketing text for this book to the popular imagery of the United States, you must wonder if they refer to the same country...

  • Vennie

    I received this book from Goodreads about 2 weeks ago and totally enjoyed reading it.Ms. Biltekoff takes us through the history of food from the 1900s. It's clear and easy to read and the illustration...

  • Ai Miller

    A really incredible look into four different food-related movements across the 20th century, and the ways that they reveal more about the cultural values held by those in charge of the movements than ...

  • Courtney

    **I received a review copy of this book from Goodreads giveaways**When I finished this book, I couldn't help but be reminded of a Chesterton quote I'm fond of: "Science must not impose any philosophy,...

  • Emily

    Crafting a chronological historic narrative from the turn-of-the-century domestic science reformers and mid-century wartime nutrition programs to the late twentieth century's alternative food movement...

  • Jessica

    This is a great overview about the shifting politics of diets, nutrition, and "health" in American society, written in clear crisp prose and impeccably researched. Writing from the inspiration point o...

  • Alexander

    A compelling read about the ways in which food and health are closely tied to one's place within American society. Biltekoff tethers multiple studies, ads and government initiatives together to uncove...

  • Lindy

    Biltekoff clearly and concisely lays out how determining what is considered to be a "good" diet has always been a social, political, and moral process. I would recommend this book to public health, nu...

  • Linn Steward

    Have read and appreciate the insights on eating right in America. Especially the parallel between Alice Waters and Ellen Richards. My instinct has always been eat local and seasonal. It was easy to do...

  • Marian

    Very interesting perspective on the way we talk about diet and health. She describes the early "domestic science" movement, the evolving idea of nutrition through WWII, and concludes with an analysis ...