Food & Everyday Life in the Postsocialist World
Publication Date: September 2009
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Across the Soviet Union and eastern Europe during the socialist period, food emerged as a symbol of both the successes and failures of socialist ideals of progress, equality, and modernity. By the late 1980s, the arrival of McDonald's behind the Iron Curtain epitomized the changes that swept across the socialist world. Not quite two decades later, the effects of these arrivals were evident in the spread of foreign food corporations and their integration into local communities. This book explores the role played by food as commodity, symbol, and sustenance in the transformation of life in Russia and eastern Europe since the end of socialism. Changes in food production systems, consumption patterns, food safety, and ideas about health, well-being, nationalism, and history provide useful perspectives on the meaning of the postsocialist transition for those who lived through it.
Marion Nestle is the most respected nutritionist in America today. Her book "Food Politics" was given the James Beard Award, the top award for food writing; that book and its follow-up, "Safe Food", are backlist classics for the University of California Press. A longtime nutritionist and former head of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, Nestle lectures worldwide and was featured in the movie "Super Size Me". A native New Yorker, she raised her family in California and now lives in Greenwich Village.