Feeding the City
This campaign succeeded on Jun 1, 2013.
76 ungluers
$7,515 raised
$7,500 goal
146 Ungluers have Faved this Work
Every day in Mumbai 5,000 dabbawalas (literally translated as "those who carry boxes") distribute a staggering 200,000 home-cooked lunchboxes to the city’s workers and students. Giving employment and status to thousands of largely illiterate villagers from Mumbai's hinterland, this co-operative has been in operation since the late nineteenth century. It provides one of the most efficient delivery networks in the world: only one lunch in six million goes astray. The Harvard Business School has used this venture as a case-history of a cooperative since 2009. Translated from the original Italian edition, Sara Roncaglia’s ethnographic description of the Mumbaite system reveals that, in contrast with more sophisticated market cultures, the order of affections and food containers maintains its tenacious hierarchy of precedence, which is as much about ethics as it is about taste and aesthetics. deeply rooted in the nutritional bond between family and work, men and women, etiquette and bodily ritual, and community membership. Uniquely born of Mumbai's mix of religions -- Hindu, Parsi, Christian, Jewish, Muslim -- as well as many languages and ethnic regions -- this cuisine is also the result of several cross-cultural marriages between Europeans and Indians. The sheer simplicity of the idea—a service for transporting food prepared at home by the family to a customer’s place of work—underlies an entrepreneurial strategy based on the ability to exploit the interaction with Mumbai’s complex ethnic and social configuration.

This book is included in DOAB.

Why read this book? Have your say.

(Sept. 25, 2013, 4:32 p.m.)
So excited to finally have this! Thanks to Open Book Publishers and all my fellow backers. Now let's do the same with more books!
(June 5, 2013, 6:40 a.m.)
Thank You!!

We made it! Thanks to the amazing support of all our wonderful ungluers we’ve reached our fund-raising target, which means Feeding the City will soon be available for everyone to read as a free e-book.

We couldn’t have done it without your support, and so we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has got involved with ungluing this great book!

(May 23, 2013, 8:56 p.m.)
Only 9 days to go...I really hope the book gets unglued. *fingers crossed*, and sharing away!!
(May 8, 2013, 9:53 a.m.)
The dabbas are back! The dabba-style lunchboxes were such a popular premium that we’ve managed to find one more to give away! Be the next person to pledge $60 and in addition to the $40 premium we'll send you a dabba-style lunchbox chosen in Mumbai by the author, Sara Roncaglia.
(May 2, 2013, 4:45 a.m.)
A correction to our last response. All 30 titles are available as DRM-free pdfs. 18 of them are also available in both epub and mobi formats (again DRM free). Apologies for the confusion.
(May 1, 2013, 4:18 a.m.)
Yes! All 30 books are available in DRM-free ePub, mobi and PDF formats.
(April 30, 2013, 10:30 a.m.)
A collection of 30 ebooks is a very attractive premium! Are they available in DRM-free ePub format?
(April 30, 2013, 9:35 a.m.)
We've just published our 30th book, and to celebrate we've got a great new premium for you: we're giving away a free digital edition of each of our first 30 books! In addition to being acknowledged as a bibliophile in the unglued edition of Feeding the City, your name or unglue username will be acknowledged in all other printed and digital editions of the work.
(April 22, 2013, 8:35 p.m.)
Every time I stop back at and see this title, I get excited thinking about (hopefully) having it soon!
(April 17, 2013, 6:07 a.m.)
Since the dabba-style lunchboxes were snapped up so quickly we’ve got another lunch-related premium for you! The next person who pledges $60 will receive a beautiful, hand-embroidered table-cloth, all the way from India, in addition to the $40 premium. Be quick though – we’ve only got one to give away!
(April 4, 2013, 10:21 a.m.)
You may not have your lunch delivered by a dabbawala every day, but with our new limited-edition premium you can be your own dabbawala. Be one of the next two people to pledge $60 and in addition to the $40 premium we'll send you a dabba-style lunchbox chosen in Mumbai by the author, Sara Roncaglia.
(March 28, 2013, 8:39 a.m.)
Since you swooped on the spice kit premium and they have all gone, we have a new deluxe limited-edition premium for you: a conversation with the author and editor of Feeding the City. You'll have the opportunity to ask all the questions you might have about the dabbawalas, or the process of writing, translating and creating a book. This one should be of interest to the budding (or not so budding) author and editor.
(March 15, 2013, 11 a.m.)
Wow - only one spice set premium remaining already! We're glad you like them.
(March 15, 2013, 8:54 a.m.)
We have added a new, limited-edition premium which includes a treat for the next three people to pledge $50: Sara Roncaglia has specially selected three spice sets whilst she is in Mumbai, so as well as acknowledgement and free books, you will be the lucky recipient of some Mumbai tastes and colours.
(March 8, 2013, 9:32 a.m.)
A huge thank you to the early bird supporters! We're delighted to be over 10% of the way to ungluing this wonderful book already.

We just looked at the page for Oral Literature in Africa, the last book we unglued with you, and 291 people were reading it at that moment, and that is why we unglue.

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A campaign has succeeded to unglue Feeding the City!

The rights holder, Open Book Publishers , has agreed to release Feeding the City to the world as a Creative Commons licensed ebook (CC BY-ND) thanks to the efforts of ungluers like you.

Campaign details: the fine print


This work has been downloaded 6479 times via ebook links.
  1. 465 - pdf (CC BY-ND) at OAPEN Library.
  2. 1505 - mobi (CC BY-ND) at Internet Archive.
  3. 1965 - epub (CC BY-ND) at Internet Archive.
  4. 1582 - pdf (CC BY-ND) at Internet Archive.


  • anthropology
  • 'gastrosemantics'
  • Business & Economics
  • Business & Economics / Industries
  • Business & Economics / Industries / Food Industry
  • co-operative
  • Cultural Studies
  • Dabbawala
  • Dabbawalas
  • Food & society
  • food culture
  • food distribution
  • food industry
  • gastrosemantics
  • History
  • India
  • Mumbai
  • Nonfiction
  • Religion
  • Social conditions
  • Social Science
  • Social Science / Anthropology
  • Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural
  • Society & culture: general
  • Society & Social Sciences


DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031


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