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Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University

Browse over 250 images in The Culinary Arts Museum collection from Johnson and Wales University to see fascinating insights into 20th century American dining culture. Images include menus taken from restaurants across the USA, as well as historical recipes and nutrition and serving guidelines.


Organic Agriculture and Farming Produce

According to figures released by the Organic Trade Association this year , the organic food market increased by 6.4% in 2017, generating $45.2 billion in sales. Despite having a bigger range of foodstuffs than ever, organic food is seen as the moral, environmentally-friendly, and healthier option. But is this accurate; what are we really buying when we choose organic foods?

Men harvesting maize at a cooperative farm near Stapar, north eastern Yugoslavia, 1960s

How did organic farming start?

The swinging 60s wasn’t just a time of social change, big hair, and miniskirts – it also prompted the organic food revolution. Dip into Jeffrey Pilcher’s Food Production to learn how young people, disenfranchised with capitalism, copied peasant communities and took to the fields and started communal farming groups. A handful of the successful farms provided the basis for the modern organic food industry but, as the industry grew, it faced some of the same controversies as commercial farming, including the exploitation of migrant workers.

This picture taken on April 5, 2018 shows organic vegetables are being sold in Bangkok.

Does Organic Produce Taste Better?

In a time of global imports, when animals are fed antibiotics, and plants and crops are treated and sprayed with chemicals to stimulate growth, many choose organic food as the healthier option. Free from chemicals supposedly the strawberries are sweeter, the potatoes are heartier, and the beef is leaner. Explore Handling Food-related Risks to investigate a case study of why Danish people buy organic produce. Is the appeal of organic really in the taste or are we being neurotic about food safety?

The soup station at Sweet Potato Kitchen.

Is Supporting Organic Agriculture the Moral Choice?

“Natural”, “pure”, “fresh”, are just some of the words that dominate food advertising for organic produce. Some consumers buy organic produce because they believe organic agriculture means fairer working conditions for labourers, supporting local farms, and reducing their carbon footprint. In Food Words read Richard Milne’s chapter on labelling to see how organic packaging incorporates a promise of social and environmental change.

Whole Foods Market in Union Square in New York City

Ethical vs commercial

Organic food developed as part of an environmental and social movement towards ethical consumption, however today the organic market is often owned by corporate giants and extreme competition in the industry has led to intense scrutiny with producers eager to out their competitors for bogus advertising. Does this culture reflect the intentions and ethics behind organic food? Read on with Peter Jackson to find out.

Vinegrowers from the Cotes de Provence in Figuiere spread earthworms around the vines as an experimental approach, hoping to enrich the naturally poor soils of the region.

The Grape Delusion: Organic wine

In Food Activism and Antimafia Cooperatives in Contemporary Sicily see how Pippo, a cooperative vineyard worker thinks his own, non-organic, home-grown and home-brewed wine is far superior to the organic wine of the cooperatives. Advertising claimed the co-op’s organic wine was “the taste of Sicily” while being pure and ethical. Yet, many local workers viewed Pippo’s traditional method as being more authentic than the co-op’s mass-produced, commercialised varieties. Perhaps a taste-test is in order…