Industrial Meat Processing & Consumption

My research centers on 20th century industrial meat processing in the United States and the developments in processing technologies that in combination with social changes reshaped American consumer landscapes in ways that are now experienced as taken-for-granted, such as purchasing pre-packaged meat from refrigerated cases in self-service supermarkets. I combine a historical approach with the insights of material culture to think through the emergence of new commodities made from animals (specifically pigs) over the twentieth century.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants & the Local Food Movement

In the 1960s and 1970s, a genre of restaurant emerged proclaiming conscientious sourcing practices, close relationships between farmers and chefs, and the virtues of local food. Now, farm-to-table restaurants are a prominent fixture in the American restaurant landscape, and the naming of farms on menus has become commonplace. My research explores the sourcing practices of farm-to-table restaurants, the relationships between farmer and chef that underpin them, and the ways consumers come to understand local food as mediated through locally-sourcing restaurant spaces. .