Wonderbread vs artisanal bread. It may seem like a simple choice between variants of the same thing, but for many the two are a universe apart -- one representing industrial production and American hubris; the other a wholesomeness that bespeaks a different way of being in the world. Food scholar Aaron Bobrow-Strain has written a social history of white bread. He discusses the unexpected consequences of trying to change the world with food.
Farmers' markets, community gardens, the push for more local, organic food -- what's often called the alternative food movement is all the rage. But are there any downsides? Julie Guthman contends that the movement, inasmuch as it views consumer choice as the primary vehicle for change, can and will have limited impact on the industrial food status quo. She also challenges claims made about obesity and its causes.