Conservative Nutrition: The Industrial Food Supply and its Critics, 1912-1962


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




A cohesive critique of the industrialization of the food system had developed well before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. As soon as the industrial food system had become well established by the early decades of the twentieth century, scientists in Europe and North America saw that it had serious drawbacks for human health and the health of the environment. Despite the great diversity in their fields of study and research methods, these individuals realized that science and technology could improve human wellbeing only if industrialization in food production and processing were limited. However, by the 1960s their perspective was marginalized, even as its scientific basis was becoming more comprehensive and detailed.