This chapter offers a very broad survey of the transformation of diet in past 2500 years. Such an ambitious venture tends to highlight spectacular changes, such as the so-called Columbian exchange of the late sixteenth century. These changes undoubtedly altered the diet radically, but many other, small and less striking developments also played their parts in the long run. This survey focuses on the history of eating and drinking, primarily but not exclusively in the West, and not on the history of agriculture, commerce, retailing, or cooking. It emphasizes the quantity and diversity of food, its consumption, food policies, and health implications. Inevitably, all big and small changes in the food chain are reflected in the history of eating and drinking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Eating and Drinking
Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsHerbert Meiselman
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030145040
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14503-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameHandbook of Eating and Drinking

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Cite this