Join a conversation with Amy Bentley, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health in the Steinhardt School at New York University and Fabio Parasecoli, Associate Professor and Director of Food Studies Initiatives at The New School for Public Engagement (…) in New York City on her new book Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health and the Industrialization of the American Diet.

Food consumption is a significant and complex social activity—and what a society chooses to feed its children reveals much about its tastes and ideas regarding health. In this groundbreaking historical work, Amy Bentley explores how the invention of commercial baby food shaped American notions of infancy and influenced the evolution of parental and pediatric care.

Amy Bentley is a historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, she is the author of Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health and the Industrialization of the American Diet (University of California Press, 2014), Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (University of Illinois Press, 1998), and editor of A Culture History of Food in the Modern Age (Berg, 2012). She serves as editor for the journal Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research.

Fabio Parasecoli’s work explores the intersections among food, media, and politics, particularly in popular culture. He studied East Asian cultures and political science in Rome, Naples and Beijing. After covering Middle and Far Eastern political issues, he worked for many years as the US correspondent for Gambero Rosso, Italy’s authoritative food and wine magazine. Recent publications include Food Culture in Italy (2004) and Bite me! Food in Popular Culture (2008). He is general editor with Peter Scholliers of the six-volume Cultural History of Food (2012). His Al Dente: A History of Food in Italy was published in 2014.

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