Labor Histories of Food

Tracey Deutsch

in The Oxford Handbook of Food History

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729937
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Labor Histories of Food

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Food and work are inextricably linked, but this relationship has never been straightforward. People have used a wide array of strategies to transform raw materials into food, and these strategies reflect the different social contexts and systems in which food has been eaten. This article explores the tremendous amount of labor necessary to produce food and establishes the central role of labor to studies of food history. It does so by focusing on food gathering, food production, and food consumption over time. after providing an overview of the early history of food work and the "commercial turn" that marked global food production and consumption beginning in the late middle ages, the article discusses three sites of food-related labor: the commercial world of food processing (especially manufacturing and retail), farms, and domestic spaces.

Keywords: food; work; labor; food history; food gathering; food production; food consumption; food processing; farms; domestic spaces

Article.  9539 words. 

Subjects: History ; Industrial History

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