Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis


American Studies

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

Reader 2

Matthew Delmont

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© 2014 Emma Wartzman


This thesis is an exploration of cooking as a tool for personal health and community building, as well as for larger social change of the American food system. It looks at the decline of cooking in mid-20th century America, due to changes in technology, women's movement into the workforce, and the rise of fast and processed food. It then examines three distinct efforts going on today that are bringing cooking to the forefront of what they do--one in community gardening, one in food access programs, and one in food education. Each demonstrates the unique ability that cooking has to give immediate satisfaction. The lens is then widened to understand how this immediate satisfaction can, in turn, create waves in the way our food is currently produced on a much broader scale.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.