Welcome to Voices From The Food Revolution

Ten years into the 21st century, food is a hot topic. Americans have learned that there are consequences to what we cook, eat, and feed our families. We acknowledge the relationship between our agricultural policy and the country's food system. We recognize cooking as a legitimate and increasingly popular career option and field of study. We lionize successful chefs.

Visitors from fifty years ago wouldn't recognize today's preoccupation with food. They lived in a world where cherished new 'convenience' foods de-emphasized actual cooking, and the shelves at neighborhood grocery stores and supermarkets were lined with increasingly industrialized products. Fine restaurants of the time were mostly French. And nobody thought of taking on the American food system as a legitimate and desirable way to change the world.

But over time, post-WW II attitudes and buying habits as well as the arrival of new immigrant groups, the re-emergence of farmers markets, and a growing awareness of the consequences of eating poorly have slowly redefined our relationships with food.

New York has had a defining role in this process.

This project is made up of oral history interviews conducted by Judith Weinraub with some of the people who have played key roles in these developments, among them writers, editors, food critics, farmers market initiators, entrepreneurs, distinguished chefs, and friends and colleagues of the late James Beard. The interviews are accompanied by introductory notes for each participant, as well as transcripts. In accordance with the accepted tenets of oral history interviewing, the participants have been allowed to delete and clarify material in the transcripts.