[PAST EVENT] Sarah Bowen and Sinikka Elliott Lecture on Food, Environment, and Public Health
Please join us for a lecture by Sarah Bowen, Ph.D. and Sinikka Elliott, Ph.D., who will speak at William & Mary about their forthcoming book, Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won't Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It. Their research was featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and National Geographic. Their talk will focus on how modern families confront high expectations and inequalities as they try to put food on the table. Dr. Bowen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at NC State University, and her research interests include health, inequality, and the sociology of food. Dr. Elliott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include family, social inequality, and social policy.
Below is an abstract of Dr. Bowen's and Dr. Elliott's book (with Joslyn Brenton):
"Food is at the center of national debates about how Americans live and the future of the planet. Not everyone agrees about how to reform our relationship to food, but one suggestion rises above the din: We need to get back in the kitchen. Amid concerns about rising rates of obesity and diabetes, unpronounceable ingredients, and the environmental footprint of industrial agriculture, food reformers implore parents to slow down, cook from scratch, and gather around the dinner table. Making food a priority, they argue, will lead to happier and healthier families. But is it really that simple? In this riveting and beautifully-written book, Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott take us into the kitchens of nine women to tell the complicated story of what it takes to feed a family today. All of these mothers love their children and want them to eat well. But their kitchens are not equal. From cockroach infestations and stretched budgets to picky eaters and conflicting nutrition advice, Pressure Cooker exposes how modern families struggle to confront high expectations and deep-seated inequalities around getting food on the table. Based on extensive interviews and field research in the homes and kitchens of a diverse group of American families, Pressure Cooker challenges the logic of the most popular foodie mantras of our time, showing how they miss the mark and up the ante for parents and children. Romantic images of family meals are inviting, but they create a fiction that does little to fix the problems in the food system. The unforgettable stories in this book evocatively illustrate how class inequality, racism, sexism, and xenophobia converge at the dinner table. If we want a food system that is fair, equitable, and nourishing, we must look outside the kitchen for answers."
Dr. Bowen's lecture is co-sponsored by William & Mary?s Department of Sociology, Department of Anthropology, Schroeder Center for Health Policy, Environmental Science and Policy Program, and the Health, Law, & Policy Society.