Appetite for Change

Warren James Belasco, Author Pantheon Books $24.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-394-54399-4
Innumerable books have analyzed how radical '60s phenomena such as drugs, rock music and loosened sexual mores were ultimately mainstreamed into society at large. Now comes an examination of a '60s legacy less often noted: the sweeping change in American eating habits ushered in by hippiedom in rebellion against middle-class America--or, as one alternative newspaper sneered, against ``flour, sugar, rice--all bleached to match the bleached-out mentality of white supremacy.'' This earnest, well-documented chronicle by a University of Maryland professor tells how the food industry co-opted the health-food craze, discussing such hip capitalists as the founder of Celestial Seasonings teas; the rise of health-food cookbooks; how ethnic cuisine came to enjoy new popularity; and how watchdog agencies like the FDA served, arguably, more often as sleeping dogs than as vigilant ones. Although fact-packed, thoughtful and attentive to the larger implications of its subject, the book is marred at times by a dense writing style and sociological tone. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 316 pages - 978-0-8014-8128-4
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