Aaron Bobrow-Strain offers a cautionary tale of how food activism run amock gave rise to White Bread
Food activist, associate professor of global food politics at Whitman College, and artisanal bread maker Aaron Bobrow-Strain began his appearance at the 2012 Miami Book Fair International with reflections on the cautionary tale of U.S. social history from 1900-1930 which gave rise to iconic store-bought, factory-made loafs of White Bread (Beacon; January, 2013), replacing homemade and artisanal baked breads representing 30% of daily calories in the average U.S. diet. Bobrow-Strain detailed the strange combination of industrial conglomerates offering low-cost convenience, and food activists evangelizing health, cleanliness, and 'the gospel of good food' in packaged white bread. The convergence of industrial and social interests in bread-making erupted in a wave of public concern for immigrant workers with 'dirty hands' making 'dangerous bread' in small bakeries, leading to the sudden surge in white bread production and sales, according to Bobrow-Strain, who then wrapped his presentation with thoughts on the future of food movements and the unintended outcomes of making 'moral' food choices.
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