Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Alcohol as Food and the Good Life

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_2



Alcoholic beverages have been positively valued for many reasons. In the following entry these positive reasons are explored within the historical context of the development of civilization. Human beings have produced and consumed alcoholic beverages ever since they changed from wandering bands of hunters and gatherers and settled down in established communities. Although alcohol can be found in the wild, it was the development of agriculture and pottery making that gave rise to the production of fermented alcoholic beverages such as mead, fruit wines, and beer. These beverages came to be valued for reasons beyond the pleasure of their taste and the effect they produced by inebriating their consumers. In antiquity they were used in religious ceremonies and valued as a medicine; they contributed to the development of social organization by encouraging trade; and they served as a kind of currency in early economies.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionUniversity of TampaTampaUSA