Using Donald Trump's “Make America Great Again” slogan from last year's U.S. presidential campaign as a framing device, this article considers how nostalgia in food commentary is a critique of present circumstances that also elides unsavory realities of the past. Noting that contemporary food nostalgia for past foodways is ironic given that food commentators of the past also pined for erstwhile foodways, this article examines how early twentieth-century dietary critiques projected anxieties about modernity in their disapprovals of the decline of home cooking and the rising consumption of items like white bread and sugar. While such critiques have much in common with contemporary food nostalgia, this article points to a unique preoccupation of the more recent dietary critiques—the obesity epidemic.
Make America's (Foodways) Great Again: Nostalgia, Early Twentieth-Century Dietary Critiques, and the Specter of Obesity in Contemporary Food Commentary
Chin Jou is a lecturer in American history at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help (University of Chicago Press, 2017).
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Chin Jou; Make America's (Foodways) Great Again: Nostalgia, Early Twentieth-Century Dietary Critiques, and the Specter of Obesity in Contemporary Food Commentary. Gastronomica 1 February 2017; 17 (1): 20–32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2017.17.1.20
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