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date: 20 October 2021

(p. xvii) Introduction

(p. xvii) Introduction

The history of food, long derided as an amateur’s avocation, has finally won professional respectability based on a generation of high-quality scholarship. The defensive justifications for studying food often given by the field’s pioneers, many of whom labored in obscurity at provincial colleges and universities, has given way to a new self-confidence and recognition.1 Food matters, not only as a proper subject of study in its own right, but also as a captivating medium for conveying critical messages about capitalism, the environment, and social inequality to audiences beyond the ivy tower. This handbook seeks to recognize the contributions of early scholars, consolidate our understanding of the field, and point out new challenges for future researchers.

Although professional historians were slow to perceive the importance of food, the evidence was always there waiting in the primary sources. Ancient Chinese social philosophers acknowledged cooks as state ministers and butchers as role models of enlightened behavior, demonstrating the critical importance of feeding the people to political legitimacy and of decorum at the table to a well-ordered society. By contrast, the Greek intellectual tradition disdained the practical labor of the scullery as inferior to the theoretical musings of the philosopher king, although that did not stop early Greek historians and geographers from taking careful note of eating and drinking habits as markers of cultural difference. Renaissance humanists’ textual criticism, a methodological foundation of the historical profession, was directed toward culinary works by Athenaeus and Apicius along with other classical writings. Enlightenment philosophes produced the first national histories of food, including Le Grand d’Aussy’s Histoire de la vie privée des françois (History of the Private Life of the French, 1782) and Richard Warner’s Antiquitates Culinariae, or Curious Tracts on Culinary Affairs of the Old English (1791).2

The professionalization of history, initiated in nineteenth-century German universities, marked a step backward for the study of food. Leopold von Ranke and his colleagues considered nation building to be the proper subject of history, and they privileged state archives as the appropriate sources for such a project. Eager to claim scientific objectivity, professors carefully policed the boundaries of (p. xviii) their masculine, nation-centered discipline and derided any deviations or attempts to write history as literature. Lucy Maynard Salmon, author of the path-breaking social history Domestic Service (1897), incurred the ridicule of colleagues when her Vassar College seminar analyzed historical recipes and kitchen appliances alongside more traditional documents.3

Scholars who dared to study food history generally did so outside of national and disciplinary boundaries. Early immigration historian Theodore Blegen examined food in works such as Grass Roots History (1947). The French Annales school likewise included food in their broad geographical and interdisciplinary vision of “total history”; but although Fernand Braudel focused on demography and nutrition by counting the calories in historical diets, he gave less attention to the social and cultural contexts of eating. The recent burst of historical scholarship on food was inspired largely by anthropologists. Kwang-Chih Chang organized perhaps the first major English-language collection, Food and Chinese Culture (1977); as an archaeologist, he perceived the importance of establishing a basic chronology of the historical development of Chinese cuisine. Sidney Mintz’s landmark history of sugar, Sweetness and Power (1985), set a model for commodity studies by linking the production of Caribbean slaves with European consumption and the rise of modern industry.4

Meanwhile, professional scorn had not prevented a dedicated clan of culinary historians from pursuing valuable research on historical cookery. Profoundly knowledgeable of their subject, although often lacking in professional credentials, they combined careful textual analysis of old cookbooks with archival research and the historic recreation of old recipes using period technology. Through such historical reenacting, at times in museums and other public history settings, they acquired a detailed acquaintance with the materiality of food, which professional historians would do well to emulate. Some of these nonprofessionals, most notably Mark Kurlansky, have won enormous popular audiences, which seemed all the more evidence that they were not serious scholars. More appropriate criticisms of culinary historians would be that they have frequently failed to ask difficult social questions, ignored previous historical works, both by culinary and academic historians, and as a consequence, often reinvented the wheel, even while insisting that they were correcting myths and errors perpetuated by unnamed rivals. I should add that I intend these remarks not in the spirit of academic gatekeeping—culinary historians were, after all, among the pioneers of the field—but rather as an encouragement to engage more fully with a historiography that is growing rapidly in scope and quality.5

This handbook is intended for a number of audiences: graduate students preparing for comprehensive exams and dissertation research, established scholars interested in food as a research or teaching field, and culinary historians who want to kick it up a notch. The essays take stock of the field, review literatures, evaluate methodologies, and compile historiographies. Some authors focus in depth on illustrative topics, for example, the medieval spice trade or modern culinary tourism. Others survey the entire sweep of world history by way of fundamental thematic categories such as human mobility, labor, and the environment. Together (p. xix) they illustrate the wide range of approaches taken by contemporary historians of food and society.

Historical debates around food—in contrast to highly polarized contemporary food politics—remain relatively diffuse. In part, this openness reflects the wide range of topics that involve food; as a “total social phenomenon,” it influences virtually every aspect of human life. The potential for research in the history of food is therefore limited only by our own imaginations. Yet too often scholarship responds to the particular concerns of national historiographies, precisely because the profession is still institutionally constrained by national boundaries, particularly in training graduate students and hiring faculty. This volume is purposely organized along thematic and comparative lines in the hopes that national concerns will not become blinders to larger historical processes. Scholars who read narrowly in their own period and area miss valuable insights and often reinvent wheels of their own. Broad interdisciplinary reading is particularly important to avoid perpetuating what Richard Wilk has evocatively called “zombie theories,” pernicious concepts such as modernization that have been buried in the fields that spawned them, only to rise from the dead and wreck havoc in neighboring departments.

Until at least the 1950s, food tended to appear in historical works haphazardly as it related to other topics. For example, early historians of agriculture investigated the production of staple crops, while showing little interest in consumption.6 Likewise, political historians at times examined the institutions for urban provisioning and food distribution.7 Richard O. Cummings’s The American and His Food (1940) was basically a study in the historical development of nutritional science.8 Meanwhile, the Cambridge orientalist Arthur J. Arberry translated a medieval Baghdad cookbook as a linguistic curiosity alongside the Quran and works of Sufi poets.9

The rise of social history in the 1960s and 1970s first embroiled food in controversies at the center of the historical profession, particularly debates about standards of living. The question, whether industrialization led to an improvement in the livelihood of European workers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was approached via the interdisciplinary, quantitative methods that had been pioneered by Fernand Braudel and his Annales colleagues in their sweeping histories of agricultural production and demographic change in the medieval and early modern Mediterranean.10 In the United States, polemics erupted most fiercely over contested claims by economic historians Stanley Engerman and Robert Fogel that slaves on antebellum plantations were well fed.11 Although such arguments helped push economic and demographic history to the margins of the profession by the 1990s, scholars have continued to refine our understanding of the quality of historic diets and health, most notably through the examination of skeletal remains.12

Already in the early 1970s, scholars had begun to question the deterministic assumptions behind economic studies, thus setting the stage for a culturally attuned political history of food. One starting point was E. P. Thompson’s essay on the “moral economy” of the crowd and food riots in England during the transition to capitalism. Rather than chart the rise of food riots as a “spasmodic” response of hungry people to rising prices, Thompson sought to understand the cultural (p. xx) logic used to justify rioting at a time when a new commercial economy began to violate the long-standing rules of an older moral economy that were intended to protect the most vulnerable members of society.13 This anthropological approach to the politics of hunger was reinforced by Amartya Sen’s economic theory of entitlement, which demonstrated more generally that hunger has resulted not from food shortages alone but primarily from failures of distribution.14 Inspired by these works, scholars have examined the links between food distribution and political legitimacy in a wide range of societies. Peter Garnsey, for example, located the origins of Western ambivalence toward food welfare programs in classical Greek and Roman notions of self-reliant citizenship and the belief that food assistance should come in the form of private charity rather than as a government entitlement. Lars Lih demonstrated the importance of food politics in the Russian Revolution, both in the collapse of the Tsarist regime due to its failure to ensure urban food supplies and in the Civil War between the Bolshevik power base in grain-consuming regions and loyalist agricultural centers in the Caucuses and Siberia.15

The political history of food has also reached beyond struggles over distribution to examine other ways that food has contributed to hegemonic rule, which allowed elites to cultivate legitimacy through consent rather than naked force. Warren Belasco wrote his classic book, Appetite for Change (1989), as a case study in hegemony by the food industry, which co-opted the 1960s counterculture by marketing various forms of “yuppie chow.”16 In a similar fashion, Natalia Milanesio has noted that the government of Juan Domingo Perón sought to gain populist support by creating an entitlement to beef, an iconic food in Argentina; the policy backfired, however, when drought and mismanagement crippled the livestock industry. In ancient Athens, as James Davidson has observed, fish were considered to be a luxury food whose allure could tempt citizens into profligate spending, which posed a threat to the egalitarian, democratic order.17 Scholars have also examined hegemonic contests fought out over food by marginalized peoples, including women, the working classes, and racial and ethnic minorities. For example, Amy Bentley has discussed the ways that women in the United States used domestic labor as a means for claiming patriotic citizenship during World War II.18

A second important focus of historical research on food has sought to explain cultural and culinary change over time. Alfred W. Crosby Jr.’s foundational study of globalization, The Columbian Exchange (1972), examined a crucial moment of culinary transformation at the dawn of the early modern era, giving particular attention to agents of change and to environmental contexts. Trained as a Latin American historian, Crosby interpreted the spread of foods from the Old World to the New as a case of cultural conquest based on the Spaniards’ insistence on having access to familiar foods and their rejection of indigenous staples. In narrating the return voyages of American foods, however, Crosby made an essentially Malthusian argument based on the productivity of crops within broadly defined ecologies.19 Sucheta Mazumdar, James McCann, and others have revised Crosby’s argument by giving closer attention to local social and environmental conditions. Moreover, scholars such as Judith Carney have challenged Crosby’s focus on conquistadors (p. xxi) and merchants as agents of cultural transfer by showing that plebeian and even enslaved farmers and cooks largely determined the acceptance of new foods.20

Marcy Norton has argued for consideration of taste as an autonomous force in shaping cultural change, thereby moving historical causation beyond either biological determinism or cultural functionalism. Using the case of chocolate, she observed that traditional explanations for European adoption point either to the addictive biological properties of theobromine, a chemical relative of caffeine that is found in cacao, or to the adaptation of chocolate into European cultural systems by adding sugar and spices to a bitter indigenous drink. Neither approach can fully explain the European taste for chocolate; she argued instead for a close examination of complex social relationships linking Natives and Spaniards in the early era of the conquest.21 Paul Freedman has likewise shown the potential for historicizing taste in a book on spices and the medieval imagination. He examined the uses of spices not only to flavor food but also as perfume, medicine, and even a source of spiritual power. By revealing the ways that medieval Europeans imagined the unknown origins and seductive allure of spices, Freedman conveyed a sense of the mystery in their mental world.22 In addition to the Columbian exchange and the spice trade, another perennial topic of research in food history has been the early modern transformation in French cooking from what Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari have described as a “taste of artifice,” exemplified by spice-laden medieval banquets, to a supposedly more naturalistic and modern “analytical taste” in which flavors were kept distinct, for example, sour was the predominant flavor of the salad course while sweet was reserved for dessert. The meticulous work of Jean-Louis Flandrin, a successor to Braudel in the French Annales school, served to formulate the terms of this debate.23

A third basic area of historical research has been the connections between food and identity. One of the earliest and finest such works was Caroline Walker Bynum’s Holy Feast and Holy Fast (1987), which examined the importance of food as an expression of religiosity for medieval women. Food imagery was particularly prominent in the lives of female saints, who performed charity and miracles to feed the community, in imitation of Christ.24 In the modern era, secular versions of commensality, shared meals taken at restaurants or clubs, have become important site for building class identities, whether elite distinction claimed in exclusive temples of haute cuisine, as expressions of middle-class ideals of democracy, or working-class solidarities forged over fish and chips.25 Food has also helped preserve ethnic identities through rituals that maintain family and community traditions. Such practices of cooking and eating together were particularly important among marginalized groups, whose foods were often derided as unhealthful or immoral by dominant social groups.26 Nevertheless, even as foods contributed to social differentiation, they also provided a nonthreatening bridge for crossing ethnic and racial boundaries. Scholars have found interethnic sharing of meals to be particularly common among the lower classes and other marginalized groups.27 Eating across ethnic boundaries has also been the basis for a sense of national identity, as Arjun Appadurai discovered in a formative article on middle-class cookbooks in (p. xxii) postcolonial India. Yet domestic attempts to define a nation have frequently served as tools for particular social groups to deny others from citizenship.28 Moreover, Eric Rath has warned against fetishizing a nation; his study of culinary culture in early modern Japan found fantasies of beauty, morality, and emotion at the dinner table, but found little evidence of the “imagined community” that would later constitute the Japanese nation, nor even of such iconic dishes as sushi or tempura.29

A fourth point of contention, and one that extends far beyond the historical profession, has concerned the rise of the modern industrial food system. Activists within the “good food movement” have blamed agrifood corporations for a host of evils, including contamination, obesity, social anomie, and environmental devastation.30 Supporters of industrial food have argued to the contrary that technological advances of the past two centuries have created unprecedented abundance, whereas in premodern eras the vast majority of the population labored on the brink of famine.31 Historians should have something to contribute to these polemics, but far from offering a clear chronology of the process of food industrialization, recent scholarship has done more to unsettle accepted narratives than to offer a comprehensive new interpretation. Although some scholars date the modern industrial farm to twentieth-century improvements in mechanization, irrigation, and the like, economic historians Alan Olmstead and Paul Rhode have argued that biological innovations in plant breeding and fertilizers dating back to the nineteenth century have had far greater effects on agricultural productivity.32 In a similar fashion, Nick Cullather has challenged the traditional chronology of the Green Revolution, which supposedly prevented massive starvation during the Cold War era by diffusing highly efficient capitalist agricultural systems. In fact, the productivity gains of the Green Revolution were not as dramatic as they have been portrayed and in any event grew out of earlier farm improvement programs, often carried out by experts from Third World countries.33

There is also no clear understanding of the effects of industrialization on consumption habits. Although some have argued that consumers have been duped by food processors into eating inferior products by intensive advertising campaigns and the availability of subsidized commodities, a revealing study by Martin Bruegel demonstrated the slow acceptance of canned foods by the French, who began to eat them on a large scale only after a century of efforts by the food processing industry and government educational efforts. One might attribute this resistance to French culinary exceptionalism, but the chapter by Gabriella Petrick in this handbook shows a similar delay in accepting industrial processed food in the United States.34 Of course, it is hard to deny the growing industrial concentration of the global food system under the control of transnational corporations, from the seed (Monsanto) to the grocery store (Walmart) and the fast food restaurant (McDonald’s).35 Nevertheless, we still have much to learn about the historical nature of commodity chains, as well as of consumer reactions to new products and technologies.36

Changing beliefs about dietary health have been a final important focus of the recent boom in food history. The history of medicine was long concerned with documenting the progressive advance of knowledge in understanding the cause (p. xxiii) of disease; for example, Daphne Roe’s A Plague of Corn (1973) examined medical descriptions of the nutritional disease pellagra from outbreaks in eighteenth-century Europe to the adoption of vitamin B fortification in the decades around World War II.37 Although valuable, such works have tended to naturalize scientific description as objective accounts of reality. More recently scholars have sought to understand nutritional beliefs instead as expressions of particular cultural systems rather than as approximations of ultimate truth, which turns out to be another way of saying modern Western nutritional science. For example, E. H. Collingham, Rebecca Earle, and Trudy Eden have examined the fears of early modern European colonizers in South Asia and the Americas that eating indigenous foods would cause them to degenerate to the level of their colonial subjects.38 As these examples reveal, nutritional knowledge is deeply embedded in moral systems and cultural beliefs. Modern campaigns that stigmatize obesity in the United States reflect the same desire to control the lower classes as did the middle-class social workers trying to transform the dietary behavior of immigrants a century earlier. Moreover, Western nutritional science has become an international regime of power that has been widely accepted by medical experts in the Global South.39 Charlotte Biltekoff has called for a “critical nutrition studies” that will examine the ways that dietary knowledge reproduces social relations of power, as well as a “critical dietary literacy” that will empower citizens to understand the vested interests behind nutritional claims made by industry and the medical professions and thereby forge healthier lives for themselves.40

These five themes—political history, cultural change over time, food and identity, industrial transformation, and nutritional health—by no means exhaust the rich potential of food history. Yet another, more implicit, debate in food history concerns the proper narrative form for the field. Perhaps because food has been peripheral to the wider profession, scholars have felt free to experiment with novel ways of framing their studies. The biography, a staple of traditional history, has been turned to nonhuman subjects, including sugar, codfish, bananas, and pineapples, although there have also been numerous biographies of people such as Julia Child.41 Chronological and civilizational narratives, another traditional historical approach, have also been common.42 My own attempt to write a brief survey of food in world history used thematic, comparative case studies.43 Felipe Fernández-Armesto wrote of historic “revolutions” in production, distribution, and consumption, while Kenneth Kiple organized his history around successive waves of globalization.44 Indeed, the crucial role of food in the two most fundamental transformations in human history—the Neolithic revolution and the industrial revolution—has encouraged such sweeping narratives.

One final, existential question has long persisted among food studies scholars: can we even speak of ourselves as a distinctive field, one with its own methodologies and literatures, one that will not just rely on innovative work borrowed from others but also repay old intellectual debts by contributing new ideas and approaches to the broader pursuit of knowledge? Without trying to impose any one vision or agenda, the essays in this volume provide a resounding affirmative answer. (p. xxiv)

Belasco, Warren. Food: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2009.Find this resource:

Bynum, Caroline Walker. Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.Find this resource:

Chang, K. C., ed. Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.Find this resource:

Counihan, Carole M. The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power. New York: Routledge, 1999.Find this resource:

Flandrin, Jean-Louis, Massimo Montanari, and Albert Sonnenfeld, eds. Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present. Translated by Clarissa Botsford, et al. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Freedman, Paul, ed. Food: The History of Taste. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.Find this resource:

Kiple, Kenneth F., and Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas, eds. The Cambridge World History of Food. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Viking Books, 1985.Find this resource:

Scholliers, Peter. “Twenty-five Years of Studying un Phénomène Social Total: Food History Writing on Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Food, Culture, and Society 10, no. 3 (Fall 2007): 449–71.Find this resource:

Teuteberg, Hans J., ed. European Food History: A Research Overview. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1992.Find this resource:


(1.) Jennifer K. Ruark, “A Place at the Table: More Scholars Focus on Historical, Social, and Cultural Meanings of Food, but Some Critics Say It’s Scholarship-Lite,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 1999, A17. As an example of this recognition, the American Historical Review, the flagship journal of the American Historical Association, has published at least half a dozen articles on food history since 2004. These titles illustrate the wide range of scholarly literatures to which research on food has contributed. Roger Horowitz, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, and Sydney Watts, “Meat for the Multitudes: Market Culture in Paris, New York City, and Mexico City over the Long Nineteenth Century,” AHR 109, no. 4 (October 2004): 1055–83; James Vernon, “The Ethics of Hunger and the Assembly of Society: The Techno-Politics of the School Meal in Modern Britain,” AHR 110, no. 3 (June 2005): 693–725; Marcie Norton, “Tasting Empire: Chocolate and the European Internalization of Mesoamerican Aesthetics,” AHR 111, no. 3 (Jun 2006): 660–91; Nick Cullather, “The Foreign Policy of the Calorie,” AHR 112, no. 2 (April 2007): 337–64 Michael A. LaCombe, “‘A continuall and dayly Table for Gentlemen of fashion’: Humanism, Food, and Authority at Jamestown,” AHR 115, no. 3 (June 2010): 669–87; Rebecca Earle, “‘If You Eat Their Food …’: Diets and Bodies in Early Colonial Spanish America,” AHR 115, no. 3 (June 2010): 688–713.

(2.) David Knechtges, “A Literary Feast: Food in Early Chinese Literature,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 106, no. 1 (1986): 49–63; Deane W. Curtin, “Food/Body/Person,” in Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food, ed. Deane W. Curtin and Lisa M. Heldke (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), 5; Ken Albala, “Cooking as Research Methodology: Experiments in Renaissance Cuisine,” in Renaissance Food from Rabelais to Shakespeare: Culinary Readings and Culinary Histories, ed. Joan Fitzpatrick (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 73–74; Jean-Baptiste-Donaventure de Roquefort Le Grand, Histoire de la vie privée des françois: depuis l’origine de la nation jusqu’a nos jours (1782; repr., Paris: Laurent-Beaupré, 1815); Richard Warner, Antiquitates Culinariae, or, Curious Tracts on Culinary Affairs of the Old English (London: R. Blamire, 1791).

(3.) Bonnie Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women, and Historical Practice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 115; Lucy Maynard Salmon, Domestic Service (New York: Macmillan, 1897).

(4.) Theodore Blegen, Grass Roots History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1947); Fernand Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible, vol. 1 of Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, trans. Siân Reynolds (New York: Harper and Row, 1979); K. C. Chang, ed., Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977); Sidney W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Viking, 1985).

(5.) Among the best of these culinary histories are Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed World (New York: Walker and Company, 1997); Anne Mendelson, Stand Facing the Stove: The Story of the Women Who Gave America The Joy of Cooking (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996); D. Eleanor Scully and Terence Scully, Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995); Laura Shapiro, Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1986); Andrew F. Smith, Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009); Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983).

(6.) Naum Jasny, The Wheats of Classical Antiquity (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1944); Redcliffe N. Salaman, The History and Social Influence of the Potato (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1949).

(7.) Raymond L. Lee, “Grain Legislation in Colonial Mexico, 1575–1585,” Hispanic American Historical Review 27, no. 4 (November 1947): 647–70; Murray Benedict, Farm Policies in the United States: A Study of their Origins and Development (New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1955).

(8.) Richard O. Cummings, The American and His Food: A History of Food Habits in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1940).

(9.) A. J. Arberry, “A Baghdad Cookery-Book,” Islamic Culture 13 (1939): 21–47, 189–214.

(10.) Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life; Robert Forster and Orest Ranum, eds., Food and Drink in History: Selections from the Annales Economies, Sociétés, Civilisations, trans. Elborg Forster and Patricia Ranum (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979); Louis Stouff, Alimentation et ravitaillement en Provence aux XIVe et XVe siècles (Paris: Mouton, 1970).

(11.) Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974); Herbert Gutman, Slavery and the Numbers Game: A Critique of Time on the Cross (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975).

(12.) Richard H. Steckel and Jerome C. Rose, ed., The Backbone of History: Health and Nutrition in the Western Hemisphere (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

(13.) E. P. Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present 50 (February 1971): 76–136. See also Cynthia Bouton, The Flour War: Gender, Class, and Community in Late Ancien Régime French Society (University Park: Penn State University Press, 1993); Judith A. Miller, Mastering the Market: The State and the Grain Trade in Northern France, 1700–1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

(14.) Amartya Sen, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).

(15.) Peter Garnsey, Food and Society in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Lars T. Lih, Bread and Authority in Russia, 1914–1921 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990). See also Pierre-Étienne Will and R. Bin Wong, Nourish the People: The State Civilian Granary System in China, 1650–1850 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies, 1991); LaCombe, “‘A continuall and dayly Table.”

(16.) Warren J. Belasco, Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry, 1966–1988 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1989).

(17.) Natalia Milanesio, “Food Politics and Consumption in Peronist Argentina,” Hispanic American Historical Review 90, no. 1 (February 2010): 75–108; James Davidson, “Fish, Sex and Revolution in Athens,” Classical Quarterly 43, no. 1 (1993): 53–66.

(18.) Amy Bentley, Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998).

(19.) Alfred W. Crosby, Jr., The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1972). Crosby built on the work of Ping-Ti Ho, Studies on the Population of China, 1368–1953 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959); and William Langer, “Europe’s Initial Population Explosion,” American Historical Review 69, no. 1 (October 1963): 1–17.

(20.) Sucheta Mazumdar, “The Impact of New World Food Crops on the Diet and Economy of China and India, 1600–1900,” in Food in Global History, ed. Raymond Grew (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999), 58–78; James McCann, Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500–2000 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005); Judith Carney, Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001); Arturo Warman, Corn and Capitalism: How a Botanical Bastard Grew to Global Dominance, trans. Nancy L. Westrate (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

(21.) Norton, “Tasting Empire,” 660–69, 691.

(22.) Paul Freedman, From Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).

(23.) Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari, Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, trans. Aine O’Healy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 86; Stephen Mennell, All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985); Jean-Louis Flandrin, Arranging the Meal: A History of Table Service in France, trans. Julie E. Johnson, Antonio Roder, and Sylvia Roder (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007); T. Sarah Peterson, Acquired Taste: The French Origins of Modern Cooking (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994); Susan Pinkard, A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine, 1650–1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

(24.) Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987). See also Nathan MacDonald, Not Bread Alone: The Uses of Food in the Old Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

(25.) Rebecca Spang, The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000); Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Accounting for Taste: The Triumph of French Cuisine (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); Andrew P. Haley, Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011); John K. Walton, Fish and Chips and the British Working Class, 1870–1940 (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1992).

(26.) Harvey A. Levenstein, “The American Response to Italian Food, 1880–1930,” Food and Foodways 1, no. 1 (1985): 1–23; Hasia Diner, Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001); Tracy N. Poe, “The Labour and Lesiure of Food Production as a Mode of Ethnic Identity Building Among Italians in Chicago, 1890–1940,” Rethinking History (2001): 131–48; Franca Iacovetta and Valerie J. Korinek, “Jell-O Salads, One-Stop Shopping, and Maria the Homemaker: The Gender Politics of Food,” in Sisters or Strangers: Immigrant, Ethnic, and Racialized Women in Canadian History, ed. Marlene Epp, Franca Iacovetta, and Frances Swyripa (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 190–230; Psyche Williams-Forson, Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006).

(27.) Donna R. Gabaccia, We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americans (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998); Marcie Cohen Ferris, Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006); Frederick Douglass Opie, Hogs and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008).

(28.) Arjun Appadurai, “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 30, no. 1 (January 1988): 3–24; Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Rice as Self: Japanese Identities Through Time (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993); Jeffrey M. Pilcher, ¡Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998); Warren Belasco and Philip Scranton, eds., Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies (New York: Routledge, 2002).

(29.) Eric C. Rath, Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010).

(30.) Marion Nestle, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (New York: Harper Collins, 2002); Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006).

(31.) Rachel Laudan, “A Plea for Culinary Modernism: Why We Should Love New, Fast, Processed Food,” Gastronomica 1, no. 1 (February 2001): 36–44; Robert Paarlberg, Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).

(32.) Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode, Creating Abundance: Biological Innovation and American Agricultural Development (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008); Vaclav Smil, Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001); Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Every Farm a Factory: The Industrial Ideal in American Agriculture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003); J. L. Anderson, Industrializing the Corn Belt: Agriculture, Technology and Environment, 1945–1972 (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2008).

(33.) Nick Cullather, The Hungry World: America’s Cold War Battle Against Poverty in Asia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010). See also Joseph Cotter, Troubled Harvest: Agronomy and Revolution in Mexico, 1880–2002 (New York: Praeger, 2003).

(34.) Martin Bruegel, “How the French Learned to Eat Canned Food, 1809–1930s,” in Belasco and Scranton, Food Nations, 113–30; Gabriella M. Petrick, “Industrial Food,” Oxford Handbook of Food History, ed. Jeffrey M. Pilcher (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). On the meatpacking industry, see Roger Horowitz, Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, Transformation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); Jeffrey M. Pilcher, The Sausage Rebellion: Public Health, Private Enterprise, and Meat in Mexico City, 1890–1917 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006).

(35.) For exemplary works, see Jack Kloppenburg, First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004); Steve Penfold, The Donut: A Canadian History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).

(36.) William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York: Norton, 1991); John Soluri, Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005); Warren Belasco and Roger Horowitz, eds., Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

(37.) Daphne Roe, A Plague of Corn: A Social History of Pellagra (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1973).

(38.) E. M. Collingham, Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj, c. 1800–1947 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001); Earle, “‘If You Eat Their Food …’”; Trudy Eden, The Early American Table: Food and Society in the New World (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2008).

(39.) Cullather, “The Foreign Policy of the Calorie”; James Vernon, Hunger: A Modern History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Mark Swislocki, “Nutritional Governmentality: Food and the Politics of Health in Late Imperial and Republican China,” Radical History Review 110 (Spring 2011): 9–35; Sandra Aguilar-Rodríguez, “Nutrition and Modernity: Milk Consumption in 1940s and 1950s Mexico,” Radical History Review 110 (Spring 2011): 36–58.

(40.) Charlotte Biltekoff, Eating Right in America: Food, Health and Citizenship from Domestic Science to Obesity (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming).

(41.) Notable examples include Kurlansky, Cod; Mintz, Sweetness and Power; Warman, Corn and Capitalism; Pierre Boisard, Camembert: A National Myth, trans. Richard Miller (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003); Gary Y. Okihiro, Pineapple Culture: A History of the Tropical and Temperate Zones (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009). See also Noël Riley Fitch, Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child (New York: Doubleday, 1997).

(42.) Reay Tannahill, Food in History (New York: Stein and Day, 1973); Chang, Food in Chinese Culture; Jean-Louis Flandrin, Massimo Montanari, and Albert Sonnenfeld, eds., Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present, trans. Clarissa Botsford, et al. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999); Paul Freedman, ed., Food: The History of Taste (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).

(43.) Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Food in World History (New York: Routledge, 2006).

(44.) Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food (New York: Free Press, 2002); Kenneth F. Kiple, A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).