(Edible Memory) [PDF DOWNLOAD] ´ Jennifer A. Jordan

Edible Memory

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Rks Progress Administration writings from the 1930s is certainly a case of edible memory and of edible forgetting The writers in the collection recount now lost or vanishing habits and traditions not just ingredients not just recipes but whole sets of social habitsAuthor reminds s of the need to remember the labor that goes need to remember the labor that goes food And that Culinary traditions are highly changeable in ways often overlooked by people advocating a return to traditional diets and tradition itself is rarely as straightforward as it seems p 230 And the loss of biodiversity to consider its costEdible memory is the boxed spice cake mix and the heirloom apple I do love that the author recognizes the attachments involved in both An easy reading research based investigative piece exploring the history of food in America What we eat is linked to history memory and culture Jordan specifically examines the social role of heirloom fruits and vegetables in modern American society with a content analysis of news media and copious fieldworkFood is political So much of what we eat has little to do with what tastes good or is healthiest but rather how efficiently it can be grown and shipped Further the heirloom denotation in America often does not mean it is native to the Americas Instead it means that it predates the industrialization of food production Hence the great importance placed on them as the food system has become increasingly monolithic ndiversified and hence vulnerable to future diseases or natural disasters By making and eating heirlooms society maintains a link "to a simpler connected and relational past but importantly it acts as a means of mitigating riskHeirlooms today are "a simpler connected and relational past but importantly it acts as a means of mitigating riskHeirlooms today are to power status and accessibility whereas the items themselves are often products of colonialism slavery and conuest The individual act of eating food is always social in its ability to resituate the consumer in this greater social web of connectivity For one food demonstrates the increasing global connectedn. Otional and physical connection to a shared genetic cultural and culinary past   Jordan begins with the heirloom tomato inuiring into its botanical origins in South America and its culinary in Aztec cooking to show how the homely and homegrown tomato has since grown to be an object of wealth taste as well as a popular symbol of the farm to table and heritage foods movements  She shows how a shift in the 1940s away from open pollination resulted in a narrow range of hybrid tomato crops But memory and the pursuit of flavor led to intense seed saving efforts increasing in the 1970s as local produce and seeds began to be recognized as living windows to the past In the chapters that follow Jordan combines lush description and thorough research as she investigates the long history of antiue apples; changing tastes in turnips and rela. The best part of this book is the bibliography It s a mishmash of excerpts from other "Books About Real Food While "about real food while waxes nostalgic for boxed cake mix and jello salad But the reading list is great An interesting topic but over written and peppered with irrelevance Needs a better editor That trusty bag had been filled with "produce before not to mention books wet bathing suits seedpods or my lecture notes but this visit to the "before not to mention books wet bathing suits seedpods or my lecture notes but this visit to the was the beginning of the end for it By the time I got home it was already starting to ooze syrup onto the car seat from plums begging to be put into a tart which I did as soon as possible before they disintegrated Picking p the book I was hoping it was a narrative in that traced the intersection of memory and food like Proust s madeline Sadly it is not the book is a really just Jordan s survey of secondary literature and her perusing aggregated online sources for mentions of foods It seems in a way an excuse for her to peruse these sources and to drive out to a couple of farms then write a book about it In the end the book is Really Boring And Not boring and not all about heirloom vegetables or foods Based on my observations edible memory is something people enact with regard to a whole range of foods including some of the most highly processed foods around The heirloom varieties I focus on in most of this book are a particularly charged site of the intersections of food memory and meaning but they serve as one rich example of a much bigger process 5 i really enjoyed this Started out really enjoying but began to feel very wordy Better editing could have helped a lot Think the author s exuberance overwhelmed a better telling I did skip read last third of book Extensive notes show that a great deal of research both library reading and in person personal went in to the bookI do believe what the author says about the interconnectedness of memory food and place p 222 of 357 in Bluereader format Kurlansky s Food of a Younger Land a collection of WPA Wo. Each week during the growing season farmers’ markets offer p such delicious treasures as brandywine tomatoes cosmic purple carrots pink pearl apples and chioggia beets varieties of fruits and vegetables that are prized by home chefs and carefully stewarded by farmers from year to year These are the heirlooms and the antiues of the food world endowed with their own rich histories While cooking techniues and flavor fads have changed from generation to generation a Ribston Pippin apple today can taste just as flavorful as it did in the eighteenth century But how does an apple become an antiue and a tomato an heirloom In Edible Memory Jennifer A Jordan examines the ways that people around the world have sought to identify and preserve old fashioned varieties of produce In doing so Jordan shows that these fruits and vegetables offer a powerful em. Ess beginning with capitalism and colonialism in the late middle ages Second race class and gender ineuality in present production preparation and consumption We also see the process of social construction at work in the fickleness with which cultural value is ascribed to different foods Foods go in and out of vogue The author also highlights that particular food items such as tomatoes and apples are determined worthy of heirloom whereas also highlights that particular food items such as tomatoes and apples are determined worthy of heirloom whereas items such as turnips remain overlooked and ndervalued There may be a racial or classist element to this exclusion Apples are part and parcel to the American identity for instance but Asian vegetables remain all but invisible in the heirloom projectToday the act of eating reflects one s culture and desire to embody an imagined past The author employs Bourdieu s theory of taste as "an example of how culture shapes tastes behaviors relationships and ways "example of how culture shapes tastes behaviors relationships and ways knowing She also highlights the role of place in shaping edible memory orchards living museums farmers markets etc are all essential to the social construction of food and the relationships associated with food production and consumption Food does not just shape the human body but also the landscape and the ways in which humans interactWith all the remembering and forgetting changing tastes and narrowing and expanding of food systems it becomes clear how fragile our food system actually is Although eluded to Nonhuman Animals as food items remain overlooked in the study When mentioned at all they remain thoroughly objectified with no critiue offered of grave systems of oppression reuired to breed manipulate control and consume sentient beings Given the growing interest in humane meat and dairy as a means of resisting industrialized food production it is strange that the author did not explore this area The author s emphasis on racist and colonalist ineuality in shaping food systems would have been greatly improved with an exploration of speciesism and domestication in food politics. Ted foods like kale and parsnips; the movement of vegetables and fruits around the globe in the wake of Columbus; and the poignant perishable world of stone fruits and tropical fruit in order to reveal the connections the edible memories these heirlooms offer for farmers gardeners chefs diners and home cooks This deep culinary connection to the past influences not only the foods we grow and consume but the ways we shape and imagine our farms gardens and local landscapes   From the farmers’ market to the seed bank to the neighborhood bistro these foods offer essential keys not only to our past but also to the future of agriculture the environment and taste By cultivating these edible memories Jordan reveals we can stay connected to a delicious heritage of historic flavors and to the pleasures and possibilities for generations of feasts to com.

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