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SSI2-119: Foodways

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Strategies for Finding Books

1. Start with specific titles suggested in subject encyclopedia entries.

2. Identify the Library of Congress Subject Headings for that book to identify more books on the topic.

  • To do this, check the "Item Details" and simply click on one of the subject headings listed in the record for the book; the next screen will list all the books that share this subject term.

3. If required for your assignment, make sure that the book is scholarly. 

4. To find eBooks, use the filters on the right to limit your results to eBooks (under "Resource Type")

Specific-Focus Titles

Banana: the fate of the fruit that changed the world

Navigates across the planet and throughout history, telling the cultural and scientific story of the world's most ubiquitous fruit.

Canned: the rise and fall of consumer confidence in the American food industry

Explores the earliest roots of the modern food industry, focusing on the development of the canning industry in the United States.

Cod: a biography of the fish that changed the world

Mark Kurlansky introduces the explorers, merchants, writers, chefs, and of course the fishermen, whose lives have interwoven with this prolific fish.

Coffee: a global history

Features wonderful facts, stories and recipes to fascinate coffee addicts, food historians and the many people who regard the humble coffee bean as a staple of modern life.

Drink: a cultural history of alcohol

Discusses the role of alcohol, both positive and negative, since 8000 B.C., covering the history of fermentation and distillation from Mayan pulque to Budweiser, including laws and controversies about its use, and stories about the drinking habits of writers, politicians, and barbarian hordes.

Extra Virginity: the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil

A superbly crafted combination of cultural history and food manifesto, Extra Virginity takes us on a journey through the world of olive oil, opening our eyes to olive oil's rich past as well as to the fierce contemporary struggle between oil fraudsters of the globalized food industry and artisan producers whose oil truly deserves the name "extra virgin."

For God, Country, and Coca-Cola

The unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it.

Garden Variety: the American tomato from corporate to heirloom

Illuminates American culinary culture from 1800 to the present, challenging a simple story of mass-produced homogeneity and demonstrating the persistence of diverse food cultures throughout modern America.

Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat

An enlightening narrative history that traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine.

Milk!: a 10,000-year food fracas

The fascinating cultural, economic, and culinary story of milk and all things dairy. Tracing the liquid's diverse history from antiquity to the present, this book details its curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

Pickles: a global history

Davison explores the pickle's culinary history, and discusses pickle making and consumption, from ketchups and chutneys to sauerkraut.

Pigs, Pork, and Heartland Hogs: from wild boar to baconfest

Examines the 12,000-year connection between humans and the world's most commonly consumed meat: pork.

Proof: the science of booze

Presents a look at the science of alcohol production and consumption, from the principles behind the fermentation, distillation, and aging of alcoholic beverages, to the psychology and neurobiology of what happens after it is consumed.

Salt: a world history

The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind.

Sugar: the world corrupted: from slavery to obesity

How did a simple commodity, once the prized monopoly of kings and princes, become an essential ingredient in the lives of millions, before mutating yet again into the cause of a global health epidemic?Acclaimed historian James Walvin looks at the history of our collective sweet tooth.

Uncommon Grounds: the history of coffee and how it transformed our world

Offers a definitive history of coffee-from its discovery on an Ethiopian mountainside to the age of Starbucks and the coffee crisis of the twenty-first century.

The Widow Clicquot: the story of a champagne empire and the woman who ruled it

Provides a glimpse into the life of a daring and determined entrepreneur: Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the woman behind the iconic yellow label.

Featured Books

Reading a Call Number

Collins Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize books on the shelves. Follow these tips to find the book you need.


food advertising example

  • Start with the top line. It is in alphabetical order. Ex. HF
  • The second line is a whole number.  Ex. 6161
  • The third line is  a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg. Y.23, Y.34, Y.344, Y.4, etc. Ex. .F616 G86 (*Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.)
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order. Ex. 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015, etc. Ex. 2016

Use the library map to find where the book is located.

Is it scholarly?

Here are some clues to look for in the catalog record when you are evaluating whether a book is scholarly or popular:

  • The publisher is either a university press or an academic publisher (such as Routledge, Wiley, Blackwell, etc.).
  • The description of the book includes "notes and references."

When you have the book in hand, and still aren't sure if it is scholarly, you might want to do a little more digging, perhaps with a couple of quick Google searches:

  • Who is the author? What are the author's credentials or other sources of expertise?
  • Does the publisher have a website? If so, what types of books does it publish and what is the process for submitting work for consideration?

Featured Media

The library has a film collection that includes documentaries related to many topics in food studies. Do a keyword search on your topic in Primo and then choose media or DVD as your 'Resource Type' to see which films are available.