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Ch. 20 - CAPITALISM, COLONIALISM, AND CUISINE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2009

Kenneth F. Kiple
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
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Summary

In short, Europe's colonization of Africa had nothing to do with differences between European and African peoples as white racists assume. Rather, it was due to accidents of geography and biogeography – in particular, to the continent's different areas, axes, and suites of wild plant and animal species. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate.

Jared Diamond (1997)

ARGUABLY, THE UNITED STATES and Europe benefited more than most of the world's regions from the quickened tempo of food globalization that followed the Columbian Exchange because, by increasing food supplies, it fueled their respective Industrial Revolutions.

This synergism was first seen in Great Britain, where the calories in sugar and potatoes from the New World stoked labor. In the towns and cities where that labor was readily available, and where even more labor could be accommodated, industries began to arise. Cities and towns, of course, raised little food so that workers had to be fed from rural areas – the food reaching urban centers via an increasingly complex network of railroads. As this occurred, more and more rural individuals were attracted to city life and factory wages, draining the countryside of manpower. Consequently, agriculture, too, had to be industrialized, which, in turn, meant even more migration to the cities because far fewer hands were needed in the fields.

Food production also became mechanized, its transportation and distribution organized, and its processing, capitalized.

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Chapter
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A Movable Feast
Ten Millennia of Food Globalization
, pp. 214 - 225
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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