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Fresh – A Perishable History (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 2010

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4,7 étoiles sur 5 7 commentaires provenant des USA

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Description du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

That rosy tomato perched on your plate in December is at the end of a great journey - not just over land and sea, but across a vast and varied cultural history. This is the territory charted in "Fresh". Opening the door of an ordinary refrigerator, it tells the curious story of the quality stored inside: freshness. We want fresh foods to keep us healthy, and to connect us to nature and community. We also want them convenient, pretty, and cheap. "Fresh" traces our paradoxical hunger to its roots in the rise of mass consumption, when freshness seemed both proof of and an antidote to progress. Susanne Freidberg begins with refrigeration, a trend as controversial at the turn of the twentieth century as genetically modified crops are today. Consumers blamed cold storage for high prices and rotten eggs but, ultimately, aggressive marketing, advances in technology, and new ideas about health and hygiene overcame this distrust. Freidberg then takes six common foods from the refrigerator to discover what each has to say about our notions of freshness. Fruit, for instance, shows why beauty trumped taste at a surprisingly early date. In the case of fish, we see how the value of a living, quivering catch has ironically hastened the death of species. And of all supermarket staples, why has milk remained the most stubbornly local? Local livelihoods; global trade; the politics of taste, community, and environmental change: all enter into this lively, surprising, yet sobering tale about the nature and cost of our hunger for freshness.

Biographie de l'auteur

Susanne Freidberg is Associate Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.7 étoiles sur 5 7 commentaires
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Cold Revolution: Essential Reading 31 août 2009
Par Susan - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
For most of her life, my grandmother kept her milk, eggs, and butter in the spring house on her Missouri farm. Through the 1940s, my mother subscribed to a twice-weekly delivery of ice for her icebox, and in 1951, bought a Crosley "Shelvadore." I have a refrigerator-freezer that makes ice and dispenses cold water, and another freezer for garden vegetables and fruits. Times have changed.

In FRESH: A PERISHABLE HISTORY, Susanne Freidberg opens the refrigerator door on a fascinating aspect of our modern American food culture: how the search for "fresh" food has shaped what we buy, cook, and eat. We take the refrigerator so much for granted that it's almost impossible to imagine what eating was like before--and what it is like now for those who can't afford to participate.

But we didn't always have ice on demand and mechanical refrigeration has been around for only a century. In her first chapter, Freidberg's first chapter establishes the technical context for her discussion of the extraordinary changes that have taken place in our diets and eating habits in the last hundred years. The "cold revolution" changed the geography of fresh food, she says, making it possible for perishable foodstuffs to travel around the globe and for seasonally-available fruits, vegetables, and meat to appear on our tables year-round. Refrigeration gives us the ability to consume very old food and still happily imagine it as "fresh."

Take meat, for instance. As hunters, humans have always eaten wild meat, but Freidberg points out that eating domesticated animals has been, until recently, a "seasonal and regional luxury." Most people ate plant-based diets with the occasional addition of locally grown and processed meat. But after refrigerated railcars (chilled first with ice, then mechanically) made it possible to deliver meat from the meat-packing center of Chicago to consumers on the East Coast, "fresh" beef became less of a luxury and more of a perceived necessity. "Mobile meat," dependent on cross-country and global transport, convinced consumers "not only that fresh beef could come from far away, but also that their main relationship to meat--and indeed, to all once-living foods--was as consumers." This helped to create the disconnect that now plagues us, "between cities and their pastured hinterlands, between shoppers and their neighborhood butchers, and between people who bought the meat and those who dressed it in faraway slaughterhouses."

But refrigeration didn't affect just meat, and it has created other hidden effects that we don't often think about.

* The "cold chain" allows us to have fresh eggs throughout the year and permits egg producers to create larger and larger egg-producing factories with detrimental impacts both on the local environment and on local small-farm competitors.

* Refrigeration (enhanced by huge industry-funded marketing efforts) encourages us to desire beautiful if bland and tasteless out-of-season fruit. Advertising has taught us that "beauty is a mark of freshness," a beauty that is rarely more than skin deep.

* Refrigeration enables us to enjoy fresh vegetables without going to the work of growing them ourselves, and disguises the "hidden dependence" of growers on cheap, often undocumented migrant labor. The value we place fresh vegetables, Freidberg says, has "contributed to the historic undervaluing of the human labor that produces them."

FRESH makes one thing abundantly clear. Our contemporary American food culture is totally dependent on refrigeration. Without it, we would have no meat, eggs, milk, vegetables, fruit, or fish, except what we could grow ourselves or purchase locally, for immediate consumption. As Freidberg points out, refrigeration enables us to enjoy a richly varied and much safer diet. But because of it, we have become a culture of consumers dangerously removed from the work of managing our food and suffering from the ills created by overconsumption of meat, the injustice of cheap labor, and the depletion of natural resources. The "Cold Revolution" has created a comfortable world that may be too costly to sustain.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Good Mix of Scholarship and Readability 16 août 2012
Par Gary M. Olson - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is in many ways a serious analysis of the history of dealing with a sample of perishable foods. It's seriousness is reflected in 59 pages of notes and a 38-page bibliography, both remarkable for a book whose primary text is 283 pages (at least in the hardback version). But it is written in an easy-to-read, one could even say "fresh" style, making it a pleasure to read. The narrative is filled with great stories, interesting personalities, and clear accounts of the technical aspects of preservation. As has been noted in other reviews, it is primarily a story of the impact of refrigeration on our access to foods at risk of spoiling. The six examples used to tell the story -- beef, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk, and fish -- are common to the diets of many of us, giving the story a lot of direct relevance. The tension between local and global is another major theme, and reminds us of how difficult it is to be a locavore. All-in-all, a splendid volume.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book is well-written and provides a lot of interesting ... 2 septembre 2014
Par J. Berning - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book is well-written and provides a lot of interesting references/information. Rather than being an agenda driven condemnation of the US food system, it provides and interesting detail of how our food system has evolved over time.
Definitely a worthwhile read.
5 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 warning: kindle edition has no images 25 décembre 2011
Par annoyed with kindle - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
text is excellent. i bought the kindle edition and it is missing all the images. for each image, it actually says to refer to the print edition!! how incredibly lame is that?
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Refrigeration keeps food fresh, right? It took awhile for that idea to be widely accepted. 11 mars 2015
Par lyndonbrecht - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is an odd book, not the usual academic product of Belknap, a publisher noted for excellent academic style books. This book is accessible and gracefully written, despite an impressive array of scholarly "apparatus" (which means notes and bibliography). This is a history of refrigeration, but also a history of accepting the idea that refrigerated food could be fresh. Fresh once meant, for meat for example, freshly slaughtered, but refrigerated meat could still be fresh after a long period in refrigeration. It took a surprisingly long time for that idea to be accepted.

The book's focus is mostly the US and Europe. It discusses a wide array of related topics, such as labor, political interference, while focusing on several food categories. The most interesting chapter is the last, on milk. Refrigeration meant that dairy cattle didn't have to be located very near market cities, and changed the geography of production and marketing.
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