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Christopher James Otter
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)
Food, Nutrition, and the Making of Industrial Britain

This study examines a critical but understudied development in modern history: the transformation of the British diet in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A change to a diet rich in wheat, sugar and animal proteins, drawn to an unprecedented extent from a world market, had profound and lasting effects on every level, both within Britain and beyond. These effects ranged from the expanding waistlines of British consumers and the radically homogenized gene pools of wheat and cattle to transformed agrarian ecologies in Argentina, North America and Australasia and geopolitical and military strategy during the First and Second World Wars. The transformed British diet was thus causally connected to the emergence of world markets, industrialization and environmental transformation. Consequently, the new British food system has played a highly important, and clearly identifiable, role in modern world history.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013