Food in World History

Food in World History

by Jeffrey M. Pilcher


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The second edition of this concise survey offers a comparative and comprehensive study of culinary cultures and food politics throughout the world, from ancient times to the present day. It examines the long history of globalization of foods as well as the political, social, and environmental implications of our changing relationship with food, showing how hunger and taste have been driving forces in human history. 

Including numerous case studies from diverse societies and periods, Food in World History explores such questions as:

  • What social factors have historically influenced culinary globalization?
  • How did early modern plantations establish patterns for modern industrial food production?
  • Were eighteenth-century food riots comparable to contemporary social movements around food?
  • Did Italian and Chinese migrant cooks sacrifice authenticity to gain social acceptance in the Americas?
  • Have genetically modified foods fulfilled the promises made by proponents?

This new edition includes expanded discussions of gender and the family, indigeneity, and the politics of food. Expanded chapters on contemporary food systems and culinary pluralism examine debates over the concentration of corporate control over seeds and marketing, authenticity and exoticism within the culinary tourism industry, and the impact of social media on restaurants and home cooks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138857056
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/07/2017
Series: Themes in World History
Edition description: New
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents


1. The First World Cuisine

Part I. The Ingredients of Change

2. The Columbian Exchange

3. Sugar, Spice, and Blood

4. Nouvelles Cuisines

5. Moral and Political Economies

Part II. The Taste of Modernity

6. The Industrial Kitchen

7. Cuisine and Nation-Building

8. Empires of Food

9. Migrant Cuisines

Part III. The Global Palate

10. Guns and Butter

11. The Green Revolution

12. McDonaldization and its Discontents

13. Culinary Pluralism


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