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The material histories of food quality and composition.

Atkins, P.J. (2011) 'The material histories of food quality and composition.', Endeavour., 35 (2-3). pp. 74-79.

Abstract

This article argues for material histories of food. In recent decades food historians have tended to emphasize the cultural factors in consumption, in addition to the already well-established social, political and economic perspectives, but what is still missing is the stuff in foodstuffs. With reference in particular to milk and wine, the suggestion here is that physical and chemical composition is a major influence in what we might call the biographies of particular items of food and drink. Product characteristics are rarely static for long and today's mass-produced bread is different from that of the past, but then so are the flour, the yeast, and the even the butter that is spread on it. Adulteration was a particularly interesting aspect of composition in the nineteenth century and was the key to the emergence of two different traditions of understanding and valuing food quality.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.endeavour.2011.06.003
Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Endeavour. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Endeavour, 35, 2-3, 2011, 10.1016/j.endeavour.2011.06.003
Record Created:12 Dec 2012 12:05
Last Modified:12 Dec 2012 15:42

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