A Time when the Government ran Restaurants: State-sponsored Dining in Britain during the First World War

Evans, Bryce (2017) A Time when the Government ran Restaurants: State-sponsored Dining in Britain during the First World War. Food and History, 14 (2). ISSN 1780-3187 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

In 1917, with warfare disrupting food imports, the British government opened a network of centrally funded public cafeteria known as ‘national kitchens’ serving cheap yet nutritious food. Endorsed by high profile food reformers, these state canteens ‘for all’ mushroomed in popularity, surpassing 1,000 at their peak. Yet anxieties around the new experiment in communal consumption soon emerged. These concerns are encapsulated best in a quote from Winston Churchill, who wrote that ‘the name communal feeding centre is redolent of Communism’. In the First World War, government anxiety centred on the revolutionary potential of large numbers of people gathering all at once in the same place, while the free trade lobby opposed national kitchens as antithetical to ‘fair play’. This article is based upon research financed by the Wellcome Trust.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History and Politics
Depositing User: Bryce Evans
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 11:06
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2017 11:06
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2266

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