As a collection of essays that began, readers are told, as presentations at a “conference of food studies scholars” at North Carolina State University (organized by the editors of the volume), this anthology is both an exciting and a frustrating read. Of course, none of the issues examined, presented, critiqued, and/or defended “began” their life in 2012, when the “purposefully multidisciplinary” (p.2) conference took place, which is central to the stated objective of the collection; namely, “the need for a book that addressed the history of contemporary food debates and that explained to readers why the past matters to anyone engaged in these debates” (p.2).

Leaving aside for the moment the implication that history does not generally receive enough attention in existing food studies publications (as further suggested by the editors’ claim that, “While the list of recent state-of-the-field...

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