Lytton, “Kosher”

From Harvard University Press, a new book by Timothy Lytton (Albany Law School) about kosher supervision in America, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (forthcoming 2013). Looks very interesting. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Generating over $12 billion in annual sales, kosher food is big business. It is also an unheralded story of successful private-sector regulation in an era of growing public concern over the government’s ability to ensure food safety. Kosher uncovers how independent certification agencies rescued American kosher supervision from fraud and corruption and turned it into a model of nongovernmental administration.

Currently, a network of over three hundred private certifiers ensures the kosher status of food for over twelve million Americans, of whom only eight percent are religious Jews. But the system was not always so reliable. At the turn of the twentieth century, kosher meat production in the United States was  Read more

Food & Faith: Society, Meals, and Christianity

In December, Columbia University Press will publish Food & Faith in Christian Culture, a collection of essays edited by Ken Albala, professor of history at the University of the Pacific.

The centrality of meals in Christianity can be traced to the Passover Seder, celebrated to commemorate the events recounted in Exodus.  In the New Testament, Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for the week-long Passover festival; the Last Supper was a Passover Seder; and, ultimately, that meal became the basis for the Communion Sacrament.  Thus, food is demonstrably central to Christian narrative and 2000 years of Christian ritual and liturgy.

From these roots, Christianity and food have interacted in a variety of ways that touch upon socio-political issues, from the difference in diet between the Jewish underclass in Palestine and their Roman occupiers, early Christian agape meals, agricultural production through history, and contemporary questions regarding vegetarianism and the ethics of eating meat.  The essays in this volume explore these and a variety of related issues.

Proceed through the link to see Columbia University Press’ description of the collection.

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