Virtual Event: Priya Fielding-Singh
How the Other Half Eats:
The Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America
in conversation with TOMÁS R. JIMÉNEZ
November 17, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes PRIYA FIELDING-SINGH—Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah—for a discussion of her book How the Other Half Eats: The Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America. She will be joined in conversation by TOMÁS R. JIMÉNEZ, professor of Sociology at Stanford University.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of How the Other Half Eats on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About How the Other Half Eats
Inequality in America manifests in many ways, but perhaps nowhere more than in how we eat. From her years of field research, sociologist and ethnographer Priya Fielding-Singh brings us into the kitchens of dozens of families from varied educational, economic, and ethnoracial backgrounds to explore how—and why—we eat the way we do. We get to know four families intimately: the Bakers, a Black family living below the federal poverty line; the Williamses, a working-class white family just above it; the Ortegas, a middle-class Latinx family; and the Cains, an affluent white family.
Whether it's worrying about how far pantry provisions can stretch or whether there's enough time to get dinner on the table before soccer practice, all families have unique experiences that reveal their particular dietary constraints and challenges. By diving into the nuances of these families’ lives, Fielding-Singh lays bare the limits of efforts narrowly focused on improving families’ food access. Instead, she reveals how being rich or poor in America impacts something even more fundamental than the food families can afford: these experiences impact the very meaning of food itself.
Packed with lyrical storytelling and groundbreaking research, as well as Fielding-Singh’s personal experiences with food as a biracial, South Asian American woman, How the Other Half Eats illuminates exactly how inequality starts on the dinner plate. Once you’ve taken a seat at tables across America, you’ll never think about class, food, and public health the same way again.
Praise for How the Other Half Eats
"Bold, eye-opening, and deeply moving, How the Other Half Eats is a must-read for anyone concerned about the well-being of American families. Fielding-Singh powerfully shows how sweeping, systemic inequities find their way onto our dinner plates and impact our health and wellness. This compassionate and captivating book resonated with me as a physician caring for my patients and as a mother striving to do right by my children." —Dr. Leana Wen, author of Lifelines
“How the Other Half Eats overturns the conventional wisdom about childhood obesity, food deserts, and nutritional inequality, replacing it with a profound and compelling ground truth. Fielding-Singh shows us how inequalities in families' diets do not stem from the negligence of some parents and the devotion of others. Rather, the food that graces the plates of all children—rich and poor, Black and white—reflects mothers' deep-seated love and commitment to their kids' well-being. Honest, incisive, and illuminating, How the Other Half Eats is the book we need about food and inequality in America.” —Kathryn Edin, author of $2 a Day
“In this intimate and revealing chronicle, Fielding-Singh has done us a great service by revealing myth-busting truths about poverty, wealth, hunger, and abundance. More than that, she does it in a way that shows how knowledge might be shared compassionately, in the best tradition of engaged scholar-activism. This isn’t just undercover journalism, but an epistemology of the American dining table. After reading it, you’ll never be able to claim you didn’t know, or know how to know, how the other half eats.” —Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved
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