Over the past two centuries, global commodity chains and industrial food processing systems have been built on an infrastructure of critical but often-overlooked facilities and technologies used to transport food and to convey knowledge about food. This culinary infrastructure comprises both material components (such as grain elevators, transportation networks, and marketplaces) and immaterial or embodied expressions of knowledge (cooking schools, restaurant guides, quality certifications, and health regulations). Although infrastructural failures can result in supply shortages and food contamination, the indirect consequences of infrastructure can be just as important in shaping the kinds of foods that are available to consumers and who will profit from the sale of those foods.
This volume examines the historical development of a variety of infrastructural nodes and linkages, including refrigerated packing plants in Nazi-occupied Europe, trans-Atlantic restaurant labour markets, food safety technologies and discourses in Singapore, culinary programming in Canadian museums, and dietary studies in colonial Africa. By paying attention to control over facilities and technologies as well as the public–private balance over investment and regulation, the authors reveal global inequalities that arise from differential access to culinary infrastructure. This book was originally published as a special issue of Global Food History.
Introduction: Culinary Infrastructure1. Culinary Infrastructure: How Facilities and Technologies Create Value and Meaning around Food2. Frozen Food and National Socialist Expansionism3. Food Safety as Culinary Infrastructure in Singapore, 1920–19904. A Museum’s Culinary Life: Women’s Committees and Food at the Art Gallery of Toronto5. Developing Constipation: Dietary Fiber, Western Disease, and Industrial Carbohydrates