Food History

A poster featuring Uncle Sam overseeing a garden being worked by a couple with words at the top that say 'Uncle Sam says- Garden to cut food costs'

U.S. Department of Agriculture poster, ca. 1917. Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/00653180/

"The destiny of a nation depends upon the manner in which they feed themselves."—Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1826

"By examining our diet and tracing its history, popular writers have expanded the audience for traditional fields of study such as agricultural history, business history, and diplomatic history," writes OAH Distinguished Lecturer Matt Garcia in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of American History. "Over the last decade, food and its related subjects—fat studies, commodity-chain studies, and environmental studies—have grown apace with increased public awareness and activism."

The following OAH Distinguished Lecturers address various topics in food history:


Tracey Deutsch

Tracey Deutsch
University of Minnesota

Hasia Diner

Hasia Diner
New York University

Deborah  K. Fitzgerald

Deborah K. Fitzgerald
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Matt Garcia

Matt Garcia
Dartmouth College

Laurie Green

Laurie Green
University of Texas at Austin

Shane Hamilton

Shane Hamilton
University of York

Kristin Hoganson

Kristin Hoganson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Madeline Y. Hsu

Madeline Y. Hsu
University of Texas at Austin

Scott Reynolds Nelson

Scott Reynolds Nelson
University of Georgia

Sarah T. Phillips

Sarah T. Phillips
Boston University

Bryant Simon

Bryant Simon
Temple University