Food and History

  • Lynn WhiteJr.


Brief discussion of a topic like “food and history” demands clear statement of what one intends to do. The two chief temptations are either to present part as though it adequately mirrors the whole, or else to schematize the whole in such a way as to lose contact with concrete experience. In this paper I have chosen to commit both sins in sequence, hoping that they may cancel each other sufficiently to give us some glimpse of reality.


Water Buffalo Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century Summer Rain Char Bone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    White L Jr: The agricultural revolution of the early Middle Ages. In White L Jr: Medieval Technology and Social Change. Oxford, 1962, pp. 39-78.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Simoons FJ: Eat Not This Flesh: Food Avoidance in the Old World. Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, 1967, pp. 79–86.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jahns M: Ross and Reiter in Leben und Sprach Glaube und Geschichte der Deutschen, 2 vols. Leipzig, 1872, p. 440.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Veale EM: The English Fur Trade in the Later Middle Ages. Oxford, 1966, pp. 209-214.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Owen C: The domestication of the ferret. In Ucko PJ, Dimbley GW (eds): Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals. London, 1969, pp. 489-493.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    White L Jr: Indic elements in the iconography of Petrach’s Trionfo délia Morte. Speculum 49:216, 1974.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bradford BB: The application of water-power to industry during the Middle Ages, Ph.D. dissertation, Los Angeles, University of California, 1966. Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Grand R: L’agriculture au Moyen Âge. Paris, 1950, p. 536.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jones JF: The function of food in mediaeval German literature. Speculum 35:80, 1960.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Degrijse R, Mus O: De laatmiddeleeuwse haringvisserij. Bijdragen voor des Geschildenis der Nederlanden 21:113, 1966-67.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rosenwein BH: Feudal war and monastic peace: Cluniac liturgy as ritual aggression. Viator 2:129–157, 1971.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bonte M, Von Balen H: Prolonged lactation and family spacing in Rwanda. J Biosoc Sci 1:97–100, 1969.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Russell JC: Aspects démographiques des débuts de la féodalité. Annals: Economie, Societies, Civilisations 20:1124, 1965.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Brandel F: Civilisation matérielle et capitalisme (XVe–XVIIIe siècle), V 1. Paris, 1967, pp. 139-146.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    White L Jr: The life of the silent majority. In Hoyt RS (ed): Life and Thought in the Early Middle Ages. Minneapolis, 1967, pp. 85-100.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tannahil R: Food in History. New York, 1973, p. 220.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Higgs ES, Jarman MR: The origins of agriculture: a reconsideration. Antiquity 43:31–41, 1969.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Simoons FJ: Contemporary research themes in the cultural geography of domesticated aniamls. Geog Rev 64:557–576, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zohary D, Spiegel-Ray P: Beginnings of fruit growing in the Old World. Science 187:319–327, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Watson AM: The Arab agricultural revolution and its diffusion. J Econ Hist 34:9–35, 74-78, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Crosby AW Jr: The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, Connecticut, 1972.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sauer JD: Changing perception and exploitation of New World plants in Europe. In Chiappelli F (ed): First Images of America. Berkeley, California, 1976 (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Langer WL: American foods and Europe’s population growth, 1750–1850. J Soc Hist 8:51-66, winter 1974–75.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Spencer JE: The rise of maize as a major crop plant in the Philippines. J Hist Geog 1:1–16, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn WhiteJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations