The food and eating in Australian public consciousness summary written text 62
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|In the past two centuries there has been a dramatic change in the role of food and eating in Australian public consciouness. Public discussion of food was largely confined to matters of supply, distribution and price. Towards the end of the nineteenth century some newspapers were offering regular columns of advice on housekeeping topics, including menu planning and recipes. However, eating remained essentially a private activity, even when undertaken in company.
By the late twentieth century, food and eating had become prominent public preoccupations. Evidence of this dramatic cultural revaluation abounds. In bookstores, for example, cookery and all things related to it are often among the larger displays. There are specialty stores selling all manner of cookware, tableware and other paraphernalia associated with food, eating and drinking.
Perhaps most telling is the extension of the phenomenon of mass media celebrity to include culinary personalities. Scholars, too, have jumped on the commodification bandwagon. Now degrees in gastronomy seem set to emulate the MBA phenomenon of the 1980’s and food has become a respectable subject for investigation with philosophers, sociologists, historians, cultural theorists, ecologists and many others all having a go at it.
Surprisingly, the question seems to have held little fascination for most historians. for the best part of two centuries they have managed to write their accounts of colonisation and nationhood with only scant reference to how the settles and thier descendants fed themselves.
Despite the lack of interest in documenting food by historians and non existent public discussion of food in the past centuries, Australian public exhibits increased interests on the subject of culinary in the late twentieth century, which is a bandwagon both academia and celebrities have jumped onto.