Gardens of New Spain tells the fascinating story of the diffusion of plants, gardens, agriculture, and cuisine from late medieval Spain to the colonial frontier of Hispanic America. Beginning in the Old World, William Dunmire describes how Spain came to adopt plants and their foods from the Fertile Crescent, Asia, and Africa. Crossing the Atlantic, he first examines the agricultural scene of Pre-Columbian Mexico and the Southwest. Then he traces the spread of plants and foods introduced from the Mediterranean to Spain's settlements in Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California. In lively prose, Dunmire tells stories of the settlers, missionaries, and natives who blended their growing and eating practices into regional plantways and cuisines that live on today in every corner of America.
The coverage of each of the many controversial food issues in the set offers perspectives from different sides to encourage readers to examine various viewpoints and make up their own minds. The first volume, Food and the Environment, addresses timely issues such as climate change, food waste, pesticides, and sustainable foods. Volume two, entitled Food and Health and Nutrition, addresses subjects like antibiotics, food labeling, and the effects of salt and sugar on our health. The third volume, Food and the Economy, tackles topics such as food advertising and marketing, food corporations, genetically modified foods, globalization, and megagrocery chains.
Each volume contains several dozen primary documents that include firsthand accounts written by promoters and advertisers, journalists, politicians and government officials, and supporters and critics of various views related to food and beverages, representing speeches, advertisements, articles, books, portions of major laws, and government documents, to name a few. These documents provide readers additional resources from which to form informed opinions on food issues.