How Recipe Cards and Cookbooks Fed a Mobile, Modernizing America

Scientific Methods and Rising Literacy Were Key Ingredients for a Culinary Revolution

The first edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book—now known as The Fannie Farmer Cookbook—reads like a road map for 20th-century American cuisine. Published in 1896, it was filled with recipes for such familiar 19th-century dishes as potted pigeons, creamed vegetables, and mock turtle soup. But it added a forward-looking bent to older kitchen wisdom, casting ingredients such as cheese, chocolate, and ground beef—all bit players in 19th-century U.S. kitchens—in starring roles. It introduced cooks to recipes like hamburg steaks and French fried potatoes, early prototypes of hamburgers and …

More In: food politics

Why Scurvy Is Still a Snake in Our Nutritional Lost Paradise

To Absolve Mankind’s Genetic Original Sin, Drink Your Orange Juice

At some time in the evolution of the human organism, the gene that had allowed the body to synthesize vitamin C mutated, and the liver enzyme responsible for the synthesis …

Go Ahead: Eat Your Genetically Modified Vegetables

Experts Say GMO Controversies Are Overblown—and Distract Us From Bigger Food Problems

“So you know this topic isn’t controversial or anything,” joked chef and KCRW Good Food host Evan Kleiman as she launched a spirited conversation about genetically modified organisms—also known as …

Why France Continues to Bitterly Defend Fatty Goose Livers

Despite Controversy, Foie Gras Production Remains a Crucial Entity to the Country's Identity

Vacations to the southwestern countryside have long been a staple of French life. People escape urban centers to visit ancient churches, beautiful gardens, and magnificent castles. They enjoy outdoor activities …

They Tried to Arrest Me for Planting Carrots

My South L.A. Neighborhood Didn’t Have Decent Fruits and Vegetables. So I Planted My Own.

In 2003, long before a warrant was issued for my arrest for the crime of planting vegetables, I remember going to a store in South Central L.A. and picking up …

I Dish Out the Food Your Supermarket Can’t Use

My Neighbors Were Going Hungry, So I Got My Local Trader Joe’s to Donate Carloads of Groceries

In the spring of 2009, my teenage daughter and I attended a memorial service in Pasadena, California, followed by a family-style luncheon. After the service, the retired clergyman who had …