What’s on your summer reading list?

A feast of food writing has surfaced on bookshelves and bedsides across the country. As we’ve had the pleasure of hosting several authors at our Food Dialogues events, we’ve compiled a list of books written by former panelists.

Whether you’re looking for an easy read about the nation’s best burger joints or a critical examination of the role food plays in our social economy, there’s something here for you. And if there’s another book you feel that’s worth the summer read that takes a closer look at today’s food production – share it with us. We want to hear what you’ve been reading.

Hamburger America

by George Motz

“Whether you're an armchair traveler, a serious hamburger connoisseur, or a curious adventurer up for a road trip, Hamburger America will be your guide to reclaiming this precious slice of Americana. No other food says “America” like the hamburger, and documentary filmmaker George Motz has made it his personal mission to save our nation's unique burger identity. He has traveled across the country in search of the best burger joints - those that have survived outside the fast-food mainstream - and has documented their rich histories and one-of-a-kind taste experiences.”
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Denialism:  How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives 

by Michael Specter

“At a time when our planet is in dire peril, Americans mistrust science more than ever. Few journalists appreciate what is at stake better than Michael Specter, who has spent the last twenty years reporting on everything from the AIDS epidemic to the digital revolution. In Denialism, he eloquently shows how, in a world where protesters march against childhood vaccines and Africans starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains, we must reconnect with the rational thinking that has underpinned the advance of civilization since the eighteenth century. What emerges is a manifesto that brilliantly captures one of the pivotal clashes of our era.”

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The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto about the Politics of Your Plate

by Jayson Lusk

“Ban trans-fats? Outlaw Happy Meals? Tax Twinkies? What's next? Affirmative action for cows? A catastrophe is looming. Farmers are raping the land and torturing animals. Food is riddled with deadly pesticides, hormones and foreign DNA. Corporate farms are wallowing in government subsidies. Meat packers and fast food restaurants are exploiting workers and tainting the food supply. And Paula Deen has diabetes! Something must be done. So says an emerging elite in this country who think they know exactly what we should grow, cook and eat. They are the food police.  Taking on the commandments and condescension the likes of Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Mark Bittman, The Food Police casts long overdue skepticism on fascist food snobbery, debunking the myths propagated by the food elite.”

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The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

by Tracie McMillan

“When award-winning (and working-class) journalist Tracie McMillan saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it? To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry in this clear and essential (The Boston Globe) work of reportage. Chronicling her own experience and that of the Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks with whom she works, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to explore the national priorities that put it there.”
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Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brace New Beasts

by Emily Anthes

“In Frankenstein’s Cat, the journalist Emily Anthes takes us from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends. As she ventures from bucolic barnyards to a ‘frozen zoo’ where scientists are storing DNA from the planet’s most exotic creatures, she discovers how we can use cloning to protect endangered species, craft prosthetics to save injured animals, and employ genetic engineering to supply farms with disease-resistant livestock. Along the way, we meet some of the animals that are ushering in this astonishing age of enhancement, including sensor-wearing seals, cyborg beetles, a bionic bulldog, and the world’s first cloned cat. Through her encounters with scientists, conservationists, ethicists, and entrepreneurs, Anthes reveals that while some of our interventions may be trivial (behold: the GloFish), others could improve the lives of many species—including our own. So what does biotechnology really mean for the world’s wild things? And what do our brave new beasts tell us about ourselves?"

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