"Learning what to eat": gender, environment, and the rise of nutritional science in twentieth century America
This thesis examines the development of nutritional science from the 1910s to 1940s in the United States. Scientists, home economists, dieticians, nurses, advertisers, and magazine columnists in this period taught Americans to value food primarily for its nutritional components--primarily the quantity of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals in every item of food--instead of other qualities such as taste or personal preference. I argue that most food experts believed nutritional science could help them modernize society by teaching Americans to choose the most economically efficient foods ...
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