Food power : the rise and fall of the postwar American food by Bryan L. McDonald

By Bryan L. McDonald

There's a frequent assumption that the yankee nutrients process after international conflict II was once transformed-toward an more and more industrialized creation of vegetation, extra processed meals, and diets greater in fats, sugar, and calories-as a part of a unified process. during this booklet, Bryan McDonald brings jointly the background of meals, agriculture, and international coverage to discover how foodstuff was once deployed within the first a long time of the chilly warfare to advertise American nationwide safeguard and nationwide pursuits, an idea known as nutrients energy.

In the postwar years, american citizens struggled to appreciate how an unparalleled abundance of foodstuff might be used to most sensible develop U.S. pursuits and values. used to be nutrients a weapon, a commodity to be valued and exchanged via markets, or a substance to be supplied to these in want? McDonald lines varied visions of nutrition strength and indicates how nutrients shaped a vital a part of America's postwar modernization process and its imaginative and prescient of what it intended to be a sturdy, safe, and technologically complex country. Policymakers and specialists helped construct a brand new foodstuff procedure dependent round American agricultural surpluses that stabilized costs and foodstuff availability. the program avoided a global-scale nutrients drawback for nearly 3 many years. the tip of this nutrients approach within the early Seventies ushered in a way more precarious interval in worldwide nutrition kinfolk. via the past due 20th century, nutrition politics had develop into a battleground within which the pursuits of safety and overseas coverage specialists, farmers, companies, and politicians contended with a becoming social circulation whose adherents apprehensive concerning the function of nutrition in contributing to clash and inequality.

Food Power argues that the methods postwar American policymakers and specialists politically associated humans and locations all over the world via meals illuminates either America's function on the planet in the course of the mid-twentieth century and sheds gentle on modern nutrients problems.

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Instead, recovery plans often, only incidentally, proposed the remaking of agricultural and food systems. However, as the Soviet threat began to loom large in American minds, a sensibility coalesced around what it was that America had to offer the world: the bounty that Americans themselves were eager to enjoy in the postwar years. While the offensive deployment of American food power was not without costs, its effectiveness was clear.

Europe needed immediate aid in the form of food, fuel, and 38 F ood P ower medicine, as well as assistance in rebuilding its economies and infrastructure. Europe needed to import a great deal of material, yet European countries had few exports with which to pay for such goods. US aid was thus critical. But the assistance plan was also an opportunity to shape the future structure of Europe. Rather than a system of self-​sufficient countries, the United States sought to develop an integrated Europe, united by a single market that could benefit from economies of scale.

Prominent newspapers such as the Daily Times warned that Americans faced starvation. The communists sprang into action. They used the tensions between farmers and consumers to provoke food riots, manipulated the labor unions to strike, exploited racial tensions to incite urban riots, and activated sympathetic writers and editors to take over the media and further fan the flames of unrest. With the situation at a boil, the president and the vice president were assassinated and the secretly communist Speaker of the House was able to gain emergency powers and nationalize control over food supplies.

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