Fresh: A Perishable History
That rosy tomato perched on your plate in December is at the end of a great journey—not just over land and sea, but across a vast and varied cultural history. This is the territory charted in Fresh. Opening the door of an ordinary refrigerator, it tells the curious story of the quality stored inside: freshness.
We want fresh foods to keep us healthy, and to connect us to nature and community. We also want them convenient, pretty, and cheap. Fresh traces our paradoxical hunger to its roots in the rise of mass consumption, when freshness seemed both proof of and an antidote to progress.
Winner of the 2010 Sally Hacker Prize, awarded to the best book in the history of technology directed to a broad audience of readers.
"This smart, sweeping, and timely volume—appearing at a moment when buying locally and eating organically are fashionably responsible quests—considers the conundrums of industrial freshness."
-- The Atlantic
"A fascinating picture of our changing views of perishable food, Fresh draws on a wonderful range of sources to trace the development of refrigeration, storage and transport, and their effects on six common foods." --The Guardian
“Freidberg writes with wit and clarity.”--The Wall Street Journal
"Fresh is an engagingly original way of looking at food history, both thought-provoking and entertaining."--Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt and Birdseye
"Freidberg opens the fridge on a world few have considered: how the advent of cold storage subverted ideas of freshness, shifted power from consumers and producers to middlemen, and virtually eliminated seasonality. We all like lettuce in February, but Freidberg's ingenious and spirited Fresh serves to remind us of its technological, environmental, and social cost." --Elizabeth Royte, author of Bottlemania and Garbage Land
“A book in which great scholarship is combined with a remarkable gift for observation and a superb writing style”--Agricultural History
“In every respect Freidberg’s book beautifully embodies its main title; it surely will defy its subtitle.”--Journal of the History of Biology