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This paper offers a history of fortified blended foods, a humanitarian product that first emerged in the middle of the twentieth century. Tracing its emergence and development, the paper argues that this food was the product of four key historical trends: (i) the search for a compact and efficient diet in the wake of the Second World War; (ii) the high modernist movement that saw science and technology as a way to improve on traditional foods; (iii) the state-led industrialisation of the development decades oriented around the notion of a worldwide 'protein gap'; and (iv) the legacy of 'productivist' agriculture in the United States, generating massive surpluses in certain crops that had to be adapted creatively for a multitude of uses. The paper positions fortified blended foods in these broader historical processes, and asserts that humanitarian techniques are very much rooted in cultural, political, and social conditions.

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Journal article

Publication Date



39 (2)


s244 - s260