In Food for Dissent, Maria McGrath traces the growth of the natural foods movement from its countercultural fringe beginning to its twenty-first-century “food revolution” ascendance, focusing on popular natural foods touchstones—vegetarian cookbooks, food co-ops, and health advocates. Guided by an ideology of ethical consumption, these institutions and actors spread the movement’s oppositionality and transformed America’s foodscape, at least for some. Yet this strategy proved an uncertain instrument for the advancement of social justice, environmental defense, and anti-corporatism. The case studies explored in Food for Dissent indicate the limits of using conscientious eating, shopping, and selling as tools for civic activism.
"Food for Dissent is clearly written, engaging, and enjoyable to read. McGrath astutely explores the goals and contradictions inherent in alternative approaches to food production and consumption."—Amy Bentley, author of Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet
"Well researched and intellectually rich, Food for Dissent joins an emerging literature that rethinks the counter-culture in American life, especially how it intersected with capitalism in the 1970s and reimagined whole sectors of the economy over the last fifty years."—David Farber, author of The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s
"McGrath’s work makes an important contribution to food studies, environmental studies, and the historiography of the natural foods movement."—H-Net Reviews