In the century between 1840 and 1940, Western science turned its gaze to the contents of the stomach, and so did the market. The resulting food products – from a dehydrated “meat biscuit” to Kellogg’s famous cereals – promised wondrous solutions for what seemed both individual and social ills. “Wonder Foods: The Science and Commerce of Nutrition” explains how these products dazzled with visions of modernity, efficiency, and scientific progress, even as they perpetuated exclusionary views about who deserved to eat, thrive, and live. Drawing on extensive archival research, Wonder Foods shows that food has been wrapped up not just with survival, health, and pleasure, but also—and in ways hitherto overlooked—by the intertwining of science and the political economy. 

Discover Wonder Foods:

Watch the trailer
Listen to an episode of Virginia Heffernan’s podcast ‘This is Critical’ about Wonder Foods
Read an excerpt of Wonder Foods
View the teaching guide for Wonder Foods