Food: The Key Concepts

by Warren Belasco

Warren Belasco is Professor Emeritus of American Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. He is the author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry, Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food, and Food: The Key Concepts. He has edited Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies (with Philip Scranton), and Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart (with Roger Horowitz). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Berg, 2008
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4214-8 (online)

    978-1-84520-672-7 (hardback)

    978-1-84520-673-4 (paperback)

    978-1-8478-8457-2 (epdf)

    978-1-8478-8609-5 (epub)
  • Edition:
    English edition
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  • Published Online:
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Food: The Key Concepts presents an exciting, coherent and interdisciplinary introduction to food studies for the beginning reader. Food Studies is an increasingly complex field, drawing on disciplines as diverse as Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies at one end and Economics, Politics and Agricultural Science at the other.

In order to clarify the issues, Food: The Key Concepts distills food choices down to three competing considerations: consumer identity; matters of convenience and price; and an awareness of the consequences of what is consumed. The book concludes with an examination of two very different future scenarios for feeding the world's population: the technological fix, which looks to science to provide the solution to our future food needs; and the anthropological fix, which hopes to change our expectations and behaviors.

Throughout, the analysis is illustrated with lively case studies. Bulleted chapter summaries, questions and guides to further reading are also provided.