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Sameness in Diversity

Food and Globalization in Modern America (California Studies in Food and Culture #72)

Laresh Jayasanker, Carol Helstosky (Foreword by)


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Hardcover (4/14/2020)


Americans of the 1960s would have trouble navigating the grocery aisles and restaurant menus of today. Once-exotic ingredients—like mangoes, hot sauces, kale, kimchi, and coconut milk—have become standard in the contemporary American diet. Laresh Jayasanker explains how food choices have expanded since the 1960s: immigrants have created demand for produce and other foods from their homelands; grocers and food processors have sought to market new foods; and transportation improvements have enabled food companies to bring those foods from afar. Yet, even as choices within stores have exploded, supermarket chains have consolidated. Throughout the food industry, fewer companies manage production and distribution, controlling what American consumers can access. Mining a wealth of menus, cookbooks, trade publications, interviews, and company records, Jayasanker explores Americans’ changing eating habits to shed light on the impact of immigration and globalization on American culture.

Praise For Sameness in Diversity: Food and Globalization in Modern America (California Studies in Food and Culture #72)

"Tensions between homogenizing and diversifying influences in the supply chain throw uncertainty on what we now mean by ‘authenticity’ when it comes to food and culture. This book would appeal to social scientists, anthropologists, historians and the general public."
— Nature

"The book’s wide range of topics . . . affords an opportunity, especially for non-specialists, to explore many important issues related to agriculture and food in the twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States."
— Journal of Interdisciplinary History

University of California Press, 9780520343962, 288pp.

Publication Date: April 14, 2020

About the Author

Laresh Jayasanker (1972–2018) was Associate Professor of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the author of numerous articles on food in US history.