Convenience and choice for consumers: the domestic acceptability of canned food between the 1870s and 1930s
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Consumer Studies, ISSN 1470-6423, E-ISSN 1470-6431, Vol. 37, no 2, 130-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Canned food once represented an astonishingly innovative technology although it is now largely ignored in food discourse. As with so much in our lives, familiarity renders an object invisible. To explore the changing social significance of canned food, as the format developed from scientific curiosity to domestic ubiquity, this paper examines reports in The Scotsman newspaper from the late 1870s to the 1930s. Although canned foods were slow to break into the mass market they were little short of revolutionary in the way they brought new tastes from across the world to ordinary British households. A few cans in the larder provided simple storage and reassurance that the unexpected visitor could be fed – perhaps with something a little out of the ordinary. Against this background of quiet assimilation into our food culture, canned food has been controversial and provided an unwitting rehearsal for contemporary food narratives. In these old newspapers, it was somewhat surprising to find reports of disquiet that are recognizable in our own times – the convenience of canned food posed a threat to culinary skills; questions were raised about the nutritional value and safety of processed food; we had become excessively reliant on imported food and disregarded our own produce.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. Vol. 37, no 2, 130-135 p.
Canned food, food history, food narratives, content analysis
History of Technology
Research subject Food and Nutrition
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-53544DOI: 10.1111/j.1470-6431.2012.01103.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-53544DiVA: diva2:513315