A Geography of Digestion

University of California Press publication information available here.

** Feel free to listen to an interview I did wit Evan Kleiman for the radio show Good Food (KCRW, Santa Monica) in 2017, and an interview I did with Chad Valasek for the New Books Network in 2019 featuring this publication.**

Published in 2017 by the University of California Press, the book describes the emergence of modern American health food-ism from the perspective of the Kellogg's cereal company. The development of health foods at the Kellogg's "sanitarium" clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan during the late-nineteenth century was predicated on the use of nutritional science and a hyper focus on the process of digestion. Digestion, though, was not just confined to the epidermal borders of the body. The book shows how the digestive system was extended into space, connected with various machines and infrastructures to make it function as it did. An early form of biotechnology, asking "where is it?" with respect to the digestive system has led me to unravel a surprising story about the links between "eating right" and creating healthy landscapes in a modernizing nation. Preceding the publication of the book, in 2011 I published an article based on some of this work in Cultural Geographies.