FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

The “Good Food” Movement

Inspired by regional traditions of France and Italy, cooks, farmers, storekeepers, and adventurous eaters led the charge to revitalize and reinvent an artisanal world of food largely abandoned in America. They turned to the fresh, local, and regional in the United States, and developed a new American cuisine.

Within the context of mass-produced, mass-marketed, “fast,” and convenience food, the “good food” movement opened a national conversation about what and how Americans eat. Critics called it elitist, but its effects have been showing up throughout the food system, from production to consumption, benefiting schoolchildren, urban neighborhoods, small farmers, and everyday grocery shoppers across the country.

Julia and Paul Child (center) examining lobsters at a Boston market in 1975 with characteristic care

Julia and Paul Child (center) examining lobsters at a Boston market in 1975 with characteristic care

Paying attention to ingredients was an important part of the good food movement and of Julia Child’s approach to food.

Photo by and courtesy of Lee Lockwood