I’m a food scientist and co-founder of C-fu Foods and One Hop Kitchen. Leveraging food science advance insect cuisine! more at: cfufoods.com & onehopkitchen.com
Red, white, and food — How war helped shape food
To my southern neighbours, Happy Memorial Day weekend!
A long time ago I got a cache of digital cookbooks which included one from the US Navy. Typed entirely in Courier New, it contained a surprisingly thoughtful (and very highly scaled) recipe for iced tea which included a note to add the hot tea to cold water (not the other way around) to prevent it from going cloudy. I was surprised to see the military was so concerned about iced tea. But I shouldn’t have been. Food and armies have a long history.
I got to study food science in the US and was surprised at just how much research was funded or completed by the military. You might not realize it, but a number of modern food innovations came out of the army. It shouldn’t be too surprising though. While it may be a contradiction in terms, a military’s purpose is, ostensibly, to create and enforce peace. Hunger is a powerful force for conflict.
An army marches on its stomach. Napoleon famously offered a prize for an innovation to preserve food in cans. It was claimed by Nicolas Appert and gave birth to modern day canned food. The British occupation of India was the impetus for the modern India Pale Ale. Beer was an important part of soldiers’ rations not just because it got them drunk, but also because it provided vital minerals to keep them healthy. IPAs were developed to keep fresh without refrigeration on the long trip south and east.