Explorations, Science in the Kitchen

Kellogg Explorations

  1. Kellogg’s book was written almost exactly 100 years after Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery. Discuss the changes outlined in the two approaches to food preparation. You might first examine the differences in cooking technology (and the living conditions they imply). What are the differences between Kellogg and Simmons’ approach to the food that they recommend as good to eat (and the food that they condemn)? What similarities do you find between the two books?
  2. Kellogg refers to “science” in the title of her book. First, what does that term imply about her claims regarding cooking and eating? How scientific do you find the book? Give some examples of how Kellogg’s views predict our current discussions about healthy food. Find and analyze examples of cooking or eating recommendations that you would not consider healthy.
  3. In her article, “Angels and Vegetables: A Brief History of Food Advice in America,” E. Melanie Du Puis notes:

In the relatively short history of the United States, numerous revisions to dietary guidelines have been made. Yet, despite whole foods revolutions and new scientific data on fat and nutrients and cholesterol, we still suffer from dietary diseases. Experts continue to offer advice, but we continue to eat badly, by anyone’s definition, and we still eat too much. https://blogs.brown.edu/pols-1740-2011spring-s01/files/2011/02/gfc.2007.7.3.34.pdf

Kellogg clearly offers one such “revision” to American dietary guidelines. Read DuPuis’s interesting article (which also includes a discussion of Michael Pollan and his dietary revisions). Use Du Puis to analyze Kellogg and her approach to eating. Why do we Americans continue to ignore the advice of our dietary experts? How worthwhile is such advice if very few Americans follow it?