Globalization

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Globalization is a term of many attributes, almost all of which have had an impact on the way we eat, covering the spread across national boundaries of economic processes and products, political influences, social habits, and people themselves, contributing to a reordering of the old world which saw itself as an accumulation of discrete nations each with its own way of speaking, thinking, and, most important to us, eating. Although politics can provoke a globalizing tendency—Alexander’s conquests, or Europe’s expansion in the early modern period—economic versions are the most potent today. By means of free trade and international exchange, barriers between nations seem to tumble, homogenization sets in, not least in food habits, merely because the same commodities are made available through identical agencies, often a multinational corporation.