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Amy Bentley

Professor of Food Studies

Nutrition and Food Studies


Amy Bentley is Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. A historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, she is the author of Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet (University of California Press, 2014), (James Beard Award finalist, and ASFS Best Book Award). For more information see

Other books include Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (University of Illinois, 1998), A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Era (editor) (Bloomsbury, 2011), and the co-edited volume with Simona Stano Food for Thought: Nourishment, Culture, Meaning (Springer 2021). Book chapter and journal articles feature such topics as ketchup in Reagan's America, the politics of southwestern cuisine, and a historiography of food riots (see Selected Publications below). Her current research projects include a history of food in US hospitals, and the cultural and historical contexts of meat and dairy substitutes.

In addition to her work as a food historian, she is involved in a wide range of food-related academic and applied projects, including the Food and COVID-19 NYU digital archive, and as co-founder of the NYU Urban Farm Lab and the Experimental Cuisine Collective (2007-2016). The former Editor-in-Chief of Food, Culture, and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (2013-2019), Bentley is co-editor with Peter Scholliers of the book series Food in Modern History: Traditions and Innovations (Bloomsbury). She serves as a board member for the Bloomsbury Food Library, the Cornell University HEARTH Collection, the book series Food and Society: New Directions (Bristol University Press) and the journals Food and FoodwaysGraduate Journal of Food Studies and Gastronomy.

Selected Publications


Food Studies

The Food Studies program explores the cultural, historical, and sociological aspects of food and food systems.

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Food, Culture & Globalization: Accra

This course is designed to put in perspective the interactions between culture, food systems, migration, and globalization, and how the interactions are impacting on the food security and nutrition of the people. The course will detail the culture and traditions (including changes over the years), food ways, the current food environment in Accra, and the drivers of the nutrition transition. This course will also help students to understand the importance of nutrition sensitive agriculture in
food systems, the impacts of urbanization / migration on these, and the
influence of government policies on the dynamics. The course also has a
field component which includes visits to a traditional ruler (to learn
about food culture and festivals), markets (traditional and modern), and
fast-food outlets/restaurants.
Course #
FOOD-UE 9186
Liberal Arts Core
Cultures and Contexts