From Publishers Weekly
The ways in which "the future of food" has been addressed in the past are myriad, as detailed by University of Maryland American Studies professor Belasco. In this heavily annotated study, Belasco (Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry) focuses on "a long-standing romantic fascination with extravagant technology alongside a rich tradition of skepticism and alarm." Part one, "Debating the Future of Food," explores how questions of food security and supply have been framed and discussed over the centuries, with a focus on the recent past. Part two, "Imagining the Future of Food" is subtitled "Speculative Fiction," and covers food utopias and dystopias-or idealizations and nightmare scenarios for how and what people will eat. Part three, "Things To Come" is subtitled "Three Cornucopian Futures." It details "material assertions of optimism as found in world's fairs, restaurants, stores and kitchens-as well as in upbeat feature stories that function largely to sell the cornucopian future" and covers most of the 20th century. A postscript covers the future as currently envisioned. The discussion is smart and comprehensive, but dense. With 24 b/w photos.
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"Warren Belasco is a witty, wonderfully observant guide to the hopes and fears that every era projects onto its culinary future. This enlightening study reads like time-travel for foodies." - Laura Shapiro, author of Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America "Warren Belasco serves up an intellectual feast, brilliantly dissecting two centuries of expectations regarding the future of food and hunger. Meals to Come provides an essential guide to thinking clearly about the worrisome question as to whether the world can ever be adequately and equitably fed." - Joseph J. Corn, co-author of Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future "This astute, sly, warmly human critique of the basic belly issues that have absorbed and defined Americans politically, socially, and economically for the past 200 years is a knockout. Warren Belasco's important book, crammed with knowledge, is absolutely necessary for an understanding of where we are now." - Betty Fussell, author of My Kitchen Wars"