A lively cultural history that explores how candy in America became food and how food became more like candy.
Many adults who wouldn't dream of indulging in a Snickers bar or jelly beans feel fine snacking on sports bars and giving their children fruit snacks. For most Americans, candy is enjoyed guiltily and considered the most unhealthy thing we eat. But why? Candy accounts for less than ten percent of the added sugar in the American diet. And at least it's honest about what it is—a processed food, eaten for pleasure, with no particular nutritional benefit. What should really worry consumers is the fact that today every aisle in the supermarket contains highly manipulated products that have all the qualities of candy. So how did our definitions of food and candy come to be so muddled?
Candy tells the strange, fascinating story of how candy evolved in America and how it became a scapegoat for all our fears about the changing nature of food. Samira Kawash takes us from the moral crusaders at the turn of the century, who blamed candy for everything from poisoning to alcoholism to sexual depravity; to the reason why the government made candy an essential part of rations during World War I (and how the troops came back craving it like never before); to current worries about hyperactivity, cavities, and obesity.
Candy is an essential, addictive read for anyone who loves lively cultural history, cares about food, and wouldn't mind feeling a bit better about eating candy.