What America Ate, launched in 2017, is an interactive website and online archive about food in the Great Depression. The 1930s are a fascinating moment to study food. Examining how ordinary people bought, cooked, ate, and thought about food can reveal previously hidden aspects of American life during a time of vast economic and social change. What America Ate’s beautiful website gives users tools to interact with thousands of original sources and recipes, while the digital archive allows users to approach American food in the Depression through ethnographic essays, advertisements, community cookbooks, and photographs.
Food has been the subject of enormous interest in recent decades among scholars and non-scholars alike. Our website was designed from the beginning to a broad range of interested users. Besides making accessible thousands of fascinating and often visually stunning historical sources, What America Ate includes short essays and primary source guides written by leading food studies scholars, as well as transcription tools and an ever-expanding historical recipe database. Our website invites a broad audience of users to interact with historical sources while raising thought-provoking humanities questions.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO WITH FUNDS
What America Ate’s digital archive on food in the Depression era is the largest of its kind, but it’s far from comprehensive. With more funding, our team could identify and digitize new sources that would deepen our understanding of food in this unique era. New funding would also enable us to refine existing tools and develop new ones for users to find, interact with, and better understand sources.
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For further questions please contact:
Helen Zoe Veit
Project Director, What America Ate
Associate Professor, Department of History
Michigan State University
506 E. Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
Donate to What America Ate
Wolcott, Marion Post. "Home demonstration booth at Caswell County fair in Yanceyville, North Carolina ." 1940.