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Industrial Food and Imperialism

Please come to the seminar having researched the origins of ONE well-known British food brand dating back at least 70 years.
How does the history of this brand illustrate the development of industrial food? Does it also demonstrate the role of empire in the development of industrial food? You might also consider seeing if you can find a vintage advert that illustrates these themes.
Questions to Consider While Reading

What is ‘industrial food’?

What role has empire played in shaping the British diet? Can you use the history of your brand to illustrate this process?


Please read two pieces, in addition to researching your chosen brand.

Bickham, Troy, ‘Eating the Empire: Intersections of Food, Cookery and Imperialism in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, Past and Present 198 (2008), 71-109.*
Collingham, Lizzie, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors (Oxford, 2007), esp. chapter 6.
Goody, Jack, ‘Industrial Food: Towards the Development of a World Cuisine’, Cooking, Cuisine and Class (Cambridge, 1982).* or here
O’Connor, Kaori, ‘The King’s Christmas Pudding: Globalization, Recipes, and the Commodities of Empire’, Journal of Global History 4 (2009).*

Otter, Chris, Diet for a Large Planet: Industrial Britain, Food Systems, and World Ecology, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, 2020), Introduction and chapter 1.*

Petrick, Gabriella, 'Industrial Food', Oxford Handbook of Food History, ed. Jeffrey Pilcher (Oxford, 2012).*

Sharma, Jayeeta, 'Food and Empire', Oxford Handbooks of Food History, ed. Jeffrey Pilcher (Oxford, 2012). *

You might also like the interview with Chris Otter on Jeremy Cherfas, Eat This Podcast, 7 June 2021:

To Learn More

Broomfield, Andrea, ‘Rushing Dinner to the Table: The “Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine” and Industrialization’s Effects on Middle-Class Food and Cooking, 1852-1860’, Victorian Periodicals Review 41:2 (2008).*

Collingham, Lizzie, The Hungry Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World (2017).

Freidberg, Susanne, ‘Moral Economies and the Cold Chain’, Historical Research 88:239 (2015).

Pearson, Gregg Steven, ‘The Democratization of Food: Tin Cans and the Growth of the American Food Processing Industry,1810-1940’, D.Phil, Lehigh University 2016.

Thompson, Carl, ‘The Heroic Age of the Tin Can: Technology and Ideology in British Artic Exploration, 1818-35’, Maritime Empires: British Imperial Trade in the Nineteenth Century, eds. David Killingray, Margarette Lincoln and Nigel Rigby, Boydell and Brewer (Woodbridge, 2004).

Walvin, James, Fruits of Empire: Exotic Produce and British Taste, 1660-1800 (Basingstoke, 1997).

*Sign into the Warwick Library catalogue to access the electronic version.