Politics and Food

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Politics and Food must have been almost coextensive subjects in prehistoric times. To the extent that ‘politics’ existed, they would have been about who got what to eat. This fundamental issue would have been the underlying one in territorial disputes. Even in modern times it would not be wholly unreasonable to proffer such an analysis. Many of the wars which have taken place during the historical period can be traced at least in part to such causes (see war); and not a few governments or social systems have been overturned because of food issues—witness, if nothing more, the furious study of the relationship between the French Revolution and food supply.