Hanna Garth, “Food In Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal” (Stanford UP, 2020)

In Food In Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal (Stanford University Press, 2020), Hanna Garth examines the processes of acquiring food and preparing meals in the midst of food shortages.

Garth our attention to the social, cultural, and historical factors Cuban’s draw upon to define an appropriate or decent meal and the struggle they undergo to produce a decent meal. Often, studies of food security overlook the process of acquiring food, which Garth demonstrates as a critical locus for understanding food access.

Garth focuses on a variety of households, families, and individuals in Santiago, Cuba at different class levels and household compositions in order to show the gendered, racial, economic, social, and moral dimensions of how Cubans navigate their food landscapes and attempt to create culturally appropriate meals. 

In so doing, she argues for the centrality of how local people determine their food system to be adequate. The book would be of interest to the areas of anthropology, particularly medical anthropology, food studies, Latin American Studies, Cuban studies, and studies of socialism and post-socialism.  

Hanna Garth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at The University of California, San Diego.  

Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.   

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