The Oxford Handbook of Food History
This book chronicles the history of food. It starts with the Columbian Exchange, a term coined in 1972 by the historian Alfred Crosby to refer to the flow of plants, animals and microbes across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. It then explores the spice trade during the medieval period, the social biography and politics of food, and how food history is connected with race and ethnicity in the United States. The book also focuses on cookbooks as an important primary source for historians;
contemporary food ethics, ethical food consumerism, and “ethical food consumption”; the link between food and social movements; the emerging critical nutrition studies; the relationship between food and gender and how gender can enlighten the study of food activism; the relationship between food and religion; the debates over food as they have developed within geography in both the English- and French-speaking worlds; food history as part of public history; culinary tourism; national cuisines; food regimes analysis; how the Annales School in France has shaped the field of food history; the role of food in anthropology; a global history of fast food, focusing on the McDonald's story; industrial foods; and the merits of food studies and its lessons for sociology. In addition, the book assesses the impact of global food corporations' domination in the contemporary era, which in many ways can be seen as the equivalent of the European and American empire of the past.