Public Histories of Food

Rayna Green

in The Oxford Handbook of Food History

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Public Histories of Food


Food history is part of what we call "public history." Public institutions such as museums, historic houses, national parks, and food production facilities collect, document, preserve, and present knowledge and practices, known as foodways, and as such, play a key role in narrating the production, preservation, service, distribution, and consumption of food throughout history. This article describes the types and styles of food history found in public institutions and looks at notable examples of that history in practice in the United States. It also presents some examples of what is missing, and why, in the institutional (or public) recollection of major stories in food history.

Keywords: public history; food history; United States; museums; historic houses; national parks; food production facilities; foodways; public institutions

Article.  7385 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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