Cannibalism distinguishes the civilized from the uncivilized, the moral from the depraved, and the holy from the wicked – or so the dominant Western narrative would have you think. Rachel B. Hermann’s edited collection, To Feast on Us as Their Prey: Cannibalism and the Early Modern Atlantic, contributes to the interdisciplinary historical study of cannibalism by reconsidering the traditional contexts in which the taboo practice is often explored.

In Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat, Robert N. Spengler III discusses foods with origins in inner Asia that are now commonplace on tables globally. In our current times of globalization, the book debates how global exchange of goods is not a new aspect of human culinary experiences, as global food trade has allowed plants, seeds, and traditions to travel across continents over the last five millennia.

In Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C., Ashanté M. Reese explores how Black communities are left behind in the urban renewal process due to racism, historical geographical segregation and disinvestment of Black neighborhoods, and how these communities navigate low food access. Often ignored by the literature on food access and food security are the coping mechanisms people in these conditions develop to acquire the foods they prefer or need or how people create meaning in the process of doing so.

In “Pressure Cooker,” sociologists Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott set out to challenge dominant narratives about fixing the food system. By analyzing their ethnographic study of nine women, they reveal the complex factors that form a family’s eating habits.