When you think of food justice, the images that probably come to mind are those of urban gardens, fresh produce, and local fare. This conversation with food studies scholar S. Margot Finn swiftly ruptures that vision, arguing that freshness and processing don’t align as neatly with good and bad as we might have thought. As she traces the history of what counts as Good Food – from concerns about purity in the 1880s to frugality and nationalism during the wars to Michael Pollan and Food Inc. in the 1980s – we begin to see how taste may be more about identity distinction than anything else. Whether you’re interested in the problems with nutrition research, the ties between food and class mobility, or (wrong) assumptions about poverty and fast food, this is not an episode to miss.
Find Finn's essay in the Breakthrough Journal here and her book, Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution here.