HIST 840 Discussion Materials (Spring 2017 – Week 2)

Week 2: Geography, Climate, Food Resources, and Commerce


Reay Tannahill, Food in History, pp. 19-41 (Chap. 3: “Changing the Face of the Earth”), 43-59 (Part Two, Introduction, and Chap. 4: “The First Civilizations”)

Margaret Visser, Much Depends on Dinner, pp. 11-21 (Introduction: “What Shall We Have for Dinner?”)

Jack Goody, “Industrial Food: Towards the Development of a World Cuisine,” in Food and Culture: A Reader, ed. Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik (New York: Routledge, 1997), pp. 338-356.

Quiz, Images, Texts:

Mesolithic Food Quiz: Could you survive today as a hunter-gatherer?

Origins of modern bread wheat

Wooden sickle with flint blades

Painting from New Kingdom tomb of Sennedjem, showing use of wooden sickle

Old Babylonian recipe: “Meat Assyrian Style” (c. 1600 BCE)
(source: Alice L. Slotsky, ” Cuneiform Cuisine: Culinary History Reborn at Brown University,” SBL Forum , n.p. [cited July 2007].)

Old Babylonian recipes for Kid Stew, Tǎrru Bird Stew, and Braised Turnips
(source: John Lawton, “Mesopotamian Menus,” Saudi Aramco World, 39:2 (March/April 1988), 4-13, at end of article)

Some surviving early food brands:

Bath Oliver Biscuits (c. 1750)
Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce (c. 1835)
Borden’s “Eagle Brand” milk products (founded 1856; the image of the eagle was superseded by that of Elsie the Cow in the 1930s)
Nestlé (founded 1866 as the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company)
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

See the American Antiquarian Society’s online exhibition on industrialized food in the northern US, 1850-1900


How It’s Made: Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (3:06 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAdAgHJ0aqI&feature=fvwrel
Sainsbury’s through the years, 1869-2009 (1:31 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDwNg9VHas8&feature=related
History of Dannon yoghurt (2:09 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iINr2NsS3f0
Danino yoghurt commercial (Turkey, 0:39 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTJzNM71S4A&feature=related
Yoplait commercial (USA?, 0.34 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiR1UOIkGsM&feature=related
Sexy Danone yoghurt commercial (Dutch? 0:47 min.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUFXe4DDXww&feature=related

Magic with Borden’s Eagle Brand Condensed Milk (caramel icing, 6:37 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvTzLmKDS3c

Hovis nostalgia ad, 2008 (2:03 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_suyZb5mDk&feature=related
Spoof Hovis ad by Tony Capstick, 1981 (3:12 min.):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmSA0W3mkn4

“Food, Inc.” (film trailer, 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqQVll-MP3I
“Food Ad Tricks” (from Buy Me That! produced by Consumer Reports© Television, 1989?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUjz_eiIX8k

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