Review of “Upsetting Food: Three Eras of Food Protest in the United States”

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In Upsetting Food: Three Eras of Food Protest in the United States, sociologist Jeffrey Haydu presents us with a food protest framework that establishes sharp temporal categories of protest. The first focuses on the early 19th century “evangelical dietary reformers” (4) such as Sylvester Graham who linked a healthy diet to morality. Fast forwarding a half century, Haydu turns his attention to the pure food movement of the Progressive Era which continued to link dietary practices to morality, social ills, and class mobility. And, finally, Haydu brings us to the grassroots organic food movements of the 1960s and 1970s who rallied against the dietary stranglehold created by processed food companies and supermarket chains that took us as far from our agrarian roots as possible. At the center of these three waves of activism (if you will) is consumer activism. “The ‘consumer’ part of this claim is important,” Haydu writes in his introduction. “My focus is on consumers because it is among them that recurrent problems of trust in food arise and because it is among them that cross-fertilization from other social movements is most common” (5).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbersoae084
JournalSocial Forces
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jun 13 2024


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