Tag: Food History

At the Crossroads of Comfort TV and Comfort Food

When I started my PhD, a kind mentor advised me to cope with graduate school’s stresses by eating chocolate and watching lots of TV. I received the same guidance when starting a tenure track position, though the recommendation escalated to watching TV in a (forgivable and deserved) prostrate position. This is survival advice for everyone,… Read more →

Canned Food History: A Conversation with Anna Zeide

Recently, I had my students in Food in American Society and Culture try their hand at drafting dietary guidelines. While every group recommended consuming fruits and vegetables, one group specifically called out “fresh and frozen, not canned.” Their dismissal of canned fruit and veg caught my attention as I was at the time reading a… Read more →

An Interview with Janis Thiessen on Snacks

I recently had the opportunity to chat with one of my long time Twitter buddies, Janis Thiessen, Associate Professor of History and Associate Director of the Oral History Center at the University of Winnipeg, about her new book, Snacks: A Canadian Food History. I’ve never had the chance to taste many of the salty and… Read more →

The Gastropolitics of School Lunch

For Americans of a certain age, the term school lunch evokes the worst elements of institutional dining: soggy pizza, mushy vegetables, plastic sporks. Or perhaps it is the nutritional inadequacies that are most salient in our collective imagination: after all, the Reagan administration (according to popular legend) once classified ketchup as a vegetable.1 Passage of… Read more →

A Boy or A Girl? Sex Selection, Regimen, and Fertility in Ancient Greece

Selecting the sex of an embryo brings up a host of ethical, economic, and political considerations. When the issue arises in the western media, the focus is most often on Assisted Reproductive Technologies, such as IVF, or in the context of genetic research (Sex selection: Getting the Baby You Want and Why We Should Consider… Read more →

The Pre-History of the Paleo Diet

Dr. Loren Cordain describes himself as the “world’s foremost authority on the evolutionary basis of diet and disease” and as “one of the world’s leading experts on the natural human diet of our Stone Age ancestors.” He is the self-proclaimed founder of the Paleo Diet Movement and champions a way of eating that mimics that… Read more →

Why Eighteenth-Century Hangriness Might Be A Thing (And Why It Matters)

Captured by Abenaki Indians from New Hampshire in 1724, the Englishwoman Elizabeth Hanson described how after a disappointing hunt, her captor “with a very angry Look threw a Stick or Corn-Cob at me,” and threatened to kill her and her children. But, Hanson observed, “when-ever he was in such a Temper, he wanted Food, and… Read more →

“We lost our appetite for food”: Why Eighteenth-Century Hangriness Might Not Be a Thing

In August 2015, Oxford Dictionaries declared that the word “hangry” had entered our common vocabulary. Surely most people living in the twenty-first century have experienced the sense of being simultaneously hungry and angry. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, hunger was also everywhere. A recent NPR essay examines how slaveholders withheld food from enslaved people,… Read more →

Elimination Diets: Medical & Dietary Detective Work

After a lengthy, expensive, and invasive process, I received a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a hard to pronounce and fairly rare — but increasingly common — chronic allergic disorder. Hesitant to accept a lifelong diagnosis and the sick person’s role I imagined would come with it, I asked my physician what would happen if… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Growing a 16th-century medicinal garden.
-Do you buy generic medicine?
-10 annoying habits of hearing people.
-Illness narratives in the 18th century.
-What about the Founding Mothers?
-American presidents and infectious diseases.