In "Fresh", Susanne Freidberg chronicles how expectations about beef, fish, milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables have shifted over the past century. Freshness means more than the absence of biochemical decay. It is bound up with our notions of purity, nutrition and beauty. And these ideas have adapted to the rise of a technology that most of us now take for granted--refrigeration.--Jascha Hoffman"Nature" (06/18/2009)
Fascinating and meticulously documented...Even as some of us beat a path to the farmers market or CSA, the history [Freidberg] describes affects the selections available and their path to our refrigerator. She gives us much to ponder and presents it in a highly readable volume largely devoid of value judgments. I learned a lot. Give it a read. It will indeed give you a fresh look at your food.--Janet Majure"foodperson.com" (06/08/2009)
Few can read this thought-provoking book without thinking that although the benefits of modern food production are real, they are bought at an extravagant price. We could, if we tried, be more sensible in our demands on farmers, more resistant to the lures of advertisers, more thoughtful about the origins of our food, and more alert to the effects food production has on the environment and the people who produce it. Ms. Freidberg's book is a good place to start because it unravels the tangle of science and economics that puts food on our tables. Readers will find that the word "fresh" will never be quite the same again.--Claire Hopley"Washington Times" (05/26/2009)
"Fresh" paints a fascinating picture of our changing views of perishable food...It is the historical detail of "Fresh" that throws so much light on why we now eat the way we do...Freidberg writes elegantly and goes beyond the technical to draw out this paradox at the heart of today's culture of consumption: we have ended up with a food system that promotes both novelty and nostalgia, obsolescence and shelf life, indulgence and discipline.--Felicity Lawrence"The Guardian" (05/02/2009)
Freidberg--tracking the movement of beef, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk and fish from source to table--shows how technology, abetted by modern public relations, has changed the way we eat...Freidberg writes with wit and clarity, and her sense of humor extends to her choice of illustrations.--Aram Bakshian Jr."Wall Street Journal" (04/25/2009)
Six categories of food are placed under the microscope in this survey of shifting cultural values. Beef, eggs, vegetables, fruit, milk, and fish are each examined in Freidberg's extensively researched and engagingly written account.--Lara Killian"popmatters.com" (07/10/2009)
[A] meticulously researched social history of our relationship with perishable food.--P.D. Smith"The Guardian" (11/06/2010)
French fruit farmers, Argentine cattle ranchers, Mexican dairy farmers hidden from view in pastoral Vermont and Hong Kong seafood aficionados all enter into this lively and edifying account. The book includes a sweeping survey of how ideas of freshness vary culturally, but have invariably been influenced by urbanization and globalization--and by technological innovations that preserve the illusion of straight-from-the-source freshness...It is a lively, engaging book.--Prashanth A K"Times Higher Education" (09/03/2009)
"Fresh" is an engagingly original way of looking at food history, both thought-provoking and entertaining.--Mark Kurlansky, author of "The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell"
In "Fresh," Susanne Freidberg chronicles how expectations about beef, fish, milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables have shifted over the past century. Freshness means more than the absence of biochemical decay. It is bound up with our notions of purity, nutrition and beauty. And these ideas have adapted to the rise of a technology that most of us now take for granted--refrigeration.--Jascha Hoffman"Nature" (06/18/2009)
About the Author
Susanne Freidberg is Associate Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College.