As I posted before, I’m in the midst of three big projects this year. My PR research project is all figured out, so check that one of off my panic list.
My other project is proving difficult- as it should! What began as an expose of super-foods morphed into a statement of our inverted class diets (what was once “peasant food”–veggies, no meat–is now a luxury). Then, a bacon cheeseburger and some new-Nordic cuisine got involved, and then I had a bazillion more ideas gumming up the works. And it doesn’t help that every vintage ad, illustration, or cookbook sets me back an hour while I explore. (See below for some must-read tidbits).
It’s an interesting lesson in the challenges of academic or research projects. If the project is open-ended entirely, as this is, it’s incredibly difficult to move from inspiration to ideas to a cohesive and manageable project. Plagued by chaotic thoughts, I’ve decided to postpone choosing for a while, and proceed with not one, but TWO ideas with the hope (holy cornmuffins, it’s a dire hope) that spending more time with them, a clear front-runner will emerge.
And the (incredible working) ideas are as follows:
1: THE CHEESEBURGER, and THE INVERSION OF THE AMERICA’S CLASS DIETS
The cheeseburger is an American icon, recognized globally and ubiquitous. In recent years, however, the fast-food cheeseburger has become the poster child for an industrial food system gone awry, creating an era when America’s lowest income levels eat 99 cent meat products while fresh vegetables are the territory of the elite.
Following the cheeseburger and its deconstructed ingredients through America’s history traces the path of changing class diets, and how our standards of healthy and elite food have inverted. (Needs some serious clarifying).
2: BEANS ARE BULLETS: IMPERIALISM OF THE AMERICAN DIET
If you control the food supply, you control a population. Food has long been a tool of power and political influence. America, as a primary global superpower, has wielded this tool particularly well in the past 200 years, directly and indirectly using food and food policy as an instrument of cultural influence, political sway, and military strength.
Doesn’t that look nice? If you’d like to give me feedback, please do, and I’ll be posting my progress and ideas as I move forward. In the meantime, here are some absolutely fascinating reads I’ve found during my research:
American Pie: The Imperialism of the Calorie Absolutely fascinating interconnectedness of the calorie, military strategy, and more. Definitely read.
The Beans Are Bullets archive of wartime food posters. Awesome, awesome, awesome design inspiration and thought-provoking archive of propaganda. Beans are bullets! Potatoes are powder!
New Nordic Cuisine Draws Disciples (NYTimes) This stuff is crazy. Viking cooking is making a comeback, people.
Tackling the Question of Social Media ROI: Change Your Goals The article I posted on over at Bright Oak. Self-plug, definitely, but I appreciate your feedback.