Until the early nineteenth century, political philosophy and economics were dining companions. Both took up fundamental questions of how we should feed one another. But with the rise of corporate capitalism, modern economics lost sight of its primary task and turned away from the complexities of real people’s sustenance in favor of the single-minded pursuit of money.
In Meals Matter, Michael Symons returns economics to its roots in the distribution of food and the labor required. Setting the table with vivid descriptions of conviviality, he offers a gastronomic rebuttal to the narrow worldview of mainstream economics.
An innovative, historically based argument at the intersection of food history and social thought, Meals Matter challenges us to reject the economics of greed in favor of a community-based economics of sharing and gastronomic enjoyment.
Michael Symons (P.h.D., Flinders University of South Australia) is a journalist, former restauranteur and independent scholar.
He has written One Continuous Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia (Duck Press, 1982, Penguin, 1984) and The Pudding that Took a Thousand Cooks (Viking Australia, 1998).
He has also published articles in Food & Foodways; Food, Culture and Society; and Journal of Historical Sociology.