Food in World History  book cover
3rd Edition

Food in World History

  • Available for pre-order on May 25, 2023. Item will ship after June 15, 2023
ISBN 9781032351490
June 15, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
168 Pages

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USD $46.95

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Book Description

Now in its third edition, Food in World History explores culinary cultures and food politics throughout the world, from ancient times to the present day, with expanded discussions of industrialization, indigeneity, colonialism, gender, environment, and food and power.

It examines the long history of globalization of foods as well as the political, social, and environmental implications of our changing relationship with food, showing how hunger and taste have been driving forces in human history. Including numerous case studies from diverse societies and periods, such as Maya and Inka cuisines and peasant agriculture in the early modern era, Food in World History explores such questions as:

  • What social factors have historically influenced culinary globalization?
  • How did early modern plantations establish patterns for modern industrial food production?
  • How will the climate crisis affect food production and culinary cultures?
  • Did Italian and Chinese migrant cooks sacrifice authenticity to gain social acceptance in the Americas?
  • Have genetically modified foods fulfilled the promises made by proponents?

With the inclusion of more global examples, this comprehensive survey is an ideal resource for all students who study food history or food studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Ingredients of Change

Chapter 1: The First World Cuisine

Chapter 2: The Columbian Exchange

Chapter 3: Sugar, Spice, and Blood

Chapter 4: Nouvelles Cuisines

Chapter 5: Moral and Political Economies

Part 2: The Taste of Modernity

Chapter 6: The Industrial Kitchen

Chapter 7: Cuisine and Nation Building

Chapter 8: Empires of Food

Chapter 9: Migrant Cuisines

Part 3: The Global Palate

Chapter 10: Guns and Butter

Chapter 11: The Green Revolution

Chapter 12: McDonaldization and Its Discontents

Chapter 13: Culinary Pluralism


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Jeffrey M. Pilcher is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. His books include ¡Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (1998), Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food (2012), and the Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012), and he is the articles editor of the journal Global Food History.


Praise for previous editions:

‘I had been waiting for this second edition impatiently. Jeffrey Pilcher is a five-Michelin-star-rated food historian and Food in World History is just the perfect Food History textbook; distilling the most relevant literature in the field into an essential, intelligent, and tremendously engaging narrative.’

Simone Cinotto, University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy

‘Jeffrey Pilcher has provided readers with an appetizing introduction to the rapidly growing field of food history. Written in his well-known lively and efficient prose, Professor Pilcher weaves together a truly global history of food, one that pays respects to key aspects of the discipline of world history – cross-cultural exchange, the neolithic and pastoral revolutions, the rise of states and empires, and changing categories of class and gender, all remarkably balanced with respect to diverse regions. Food in World History will serve as a guidebook to aficionados of food history at all levels, from the casual reader to professional researchers.’

Rick Warner, Wabash University, USA

‘Food in World History is compulsory reading for the food scholar. Written in concise language and an engaging style, this new edition has added discussion of gender, indigeneity, corporate control over food and marketing, food authenticity and exoticism in tourism, and the influence of social media on food practices.’

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, University of Western Australia, Australia