Can’t  Miss Books about Food: April 2023 – April 2024

by Anna Speck

Publishing in 2024:

OUT NOW: Roots, Heart, Soul: The Story, Celebration, and Recipes of Afro Cuisine in America by Todd Richards and Amy Paige Condon (Feb. 20, 2024)

James Beard Award-winning Chef Todd Richards presents the food of the West African diaspora, from the slave trade to the present day. With interviews, photos, and recipes, Richards explains the history of the dishes and how they have influenced American culinary history.

OUT NOW: The Vegetable Eater: The New Playbook for Cooking Vegetarian by Cara Mangini (March 19, 2024)

Looking to eat less meat? Cara Mangini’s second book, following The Vegetable Butcher (IACP Award-winner, James Beard Award finalist), offers non-intimidating recipes with options for seasonal vegetables.

OUT NOW: Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America’s Food Industry by Austin Frerick, Eric Schlosser (March 26, 2024)

Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America’s Food Industry by Austin Frerick, with a foreword by Eric Schlosser, exposes how a handful of corporate giants have monopolized the American food economy, leading to detrimental consequences for society, while advocating for reclaiming power for a fair, healthy, and prosperous food industry.

PlantYou: Scrappy Cooking by Carleigh Bodrug (April 2, 2024)

Carleigh Bodrug is helping home cooks achieve the unachievable: affordable, zero-waste plant-based food. She facilitates understanding with infographics and provides many options for using food scraps in other dishes to save money and reduce waste. 

Bite by Bite: Nourishments and Jamborees by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (April 30, 2024)

New York Times bestselling author Aimee Nezhukumatathil is back with a series of short essays illustrated by Fumi Nakamura that focus on food, nature, and the human experience, exploring the ways food impacts or evokes emotions and past experiences.

In Case You Missed it in 2023:

Endangered Eating: America’s Vanishing Foods by Sarah Lohman (Oct. 24, 2023)

Read about author and culinary historian Sarah Lohman’s travels across the United States to learn which regional foods are at risk of being lost. Lohman spoke with locals who love and value these ingredients and discussed why they must be protected. The book also includes tools for readers, organizations, and food-system workers to advocate for and preserve local traditions and foods.

Why SNAP Works: A Political History — and Defense — of the Food Stamp Program by Christopher John Busso (Oct. 10, 2023)

Busso follows the history of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program since its inception in 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and explains how it has survived the past 60 years’ of budget and policy changes.

For The Culture: Phenomenal Black Women and Femmes in Food: Interviews, Inspiration, and Recipes by Klancy Miller (Sept. 19, 2023)

Chef Klancy Miller describes the history of the movement created and driven by Black women and femmes who spent their lives changing the food and hospitality industries through their knowledge, stories, and recipes.

The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope by Chef José Andrés (Sept. 12, 2023)

Each chapter of this Anthem Award-winning and New York Times bestselling cookbook reflects one of the values of Chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen: Empathy, Equity, Collaboration, Adaptability, and Sustainability. With contributions from Michelle Obama, Sanjeev Kapoor, and Guy Fieri, this cookbook contains recipes for home kitchens and inspiring stories from those who have fed millions of people affected by disasters around the world. 

Ways of Eating: Exploring Food through History and Culture by Benjamin Wurgraft and Merry White (Sept. 19, 2023)

Benjamin Wurgraft and Merry White delve into world food history and anthropology, describing how group identity dynamics shift and affect our food, agriculture, and production practices.

Accountability: Why We Need to Count Social and Environmental Cost for A Livable Future by David A. Bainbridge (June 6, 2023)

The true cost of climate change has not been accounted for in mainstream economics. Without factoring in the social and environmental costs of political and economic decisions, humans destroy the people and natural resources that we so rely on for daily life – not just modern comforts, but literally air and water, women, and people of color. This book helps facilitate understanding of individual impact on the planet, and how it can change for the better.

The World of Sugar: How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment Over 2,000 Years by Ulbe Bosma (May 9, 2023)

Amazon describes it as  “The definitive 2,500-year history of sugar and its human costs, from its little-known origins as a luxury good in Asia to worldwide environmental devastation and the obesity pandemic.” Enough said.

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