Hungry for History: Articles and Exhibits on the History of Food

The history of food offers a window into past cultural preferences, government control, and food production changes over time. Today we take a quick look at an upcoming exhibit from the National Archives and link to a few other history of food resources.

National Archives: “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”
The National Archives’ “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit will go on view from June 10, 2011 through January 3, 2012, and will examine the U.S. “government’s effect on the American diet” from the Revolutionary War through the Cold War. It will delve into “the production, regulation, research, innovation, and economics of our food supply” and even how the government has tried to influence “the eating habits of Americans.” Learn more in their press release.

National Archives Exhibit Whats Cooking Uncle Sam

Flickr Set
In preparation for the exhibit, the National Archives has created a Flickr set of food-related documents and images. Within it you’ll find things like a food group chart from the 1940s (which gave butter its own group and suggested you eat some every day), a recipe for New England fish chowder from John F. Kennedy’s presidential papers, and a mug shot of John L. McMonigle who violated the Oleomargarine Act of August 2, 1886.

National Archives Exhibit Whats Cooking Uncle Sam Flickr Page

Find other history of food resources online, like:

White House Cookbook 1887

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