Summary of “The Badass Lady Pilot Who Revolutionized the Art of Food Writing”

Growing up on a farm in Stockdale, Kansas, taught Paddleford to appreciate the difficulties of ushering food from field to plate-if you craved pork, you needed to kill one of the pigs out back-and her mother instilled a strong work ethic, cautioning, “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.”
As Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris recount in their comprehensive 2009 biography, Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate, Paddleford was ambitious and nosy, spending her high school years writing for the local newspaper.
Paddleford packed her bags with notepads and pencils and left Manhattan, Kansas, for Manhattan, New York.
Paddleford promptly landed two jobs-with the Agricultural News Service and the Milk Market News-making a name for herself covering everything from price-fixing scandals to shipments coming in all the way from China.
It wasn’t her creative dream, but Paddleford saw it as a strategic move-the opportunity to write about food full time.
Paddleford was the first American writer to approach food with as much respect and research as other journalists did with the established serious topics.
By the late 1940s, she was filing stories from sugar shacks in Vermont, salmon canneries in Alaska, and trailer homes in Florida, traveling more than 50,000 miles a year as a “Roving food editor.” It was more than a full-time job: Paddleford worked 12-hour days, starting a column each day at 5 a.m. Surrounded by a personal library of 1,900 cookbooks, she guzzled coffee and, to save time, typed in a personalized shorthand.
Still, Paddleford’s work survives in the many magazines, books, and television shows now devoted to food, as well as in the realization that taste, culture, and the diversity of America are all vividly reflected in what we eat.

The orginal article.