Carolyn Cobbold, A Rainbow Palate, How Chemical Dyes Changed the West’s Relationship with Food

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Carolyn Cobbold, A Rainbow Palate, How Chemical Dyes Changed the West’s Relationship with Food
Carolyn Cobbold is a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates the history of food and science. Her work has been published in Annals of Science, Osiris, Ambix, and Business Insurance, among others.

We live in a world saturated by chemicals—our food, our clothes, and even our bodies play host to hundreds of synthetic chemicals that did not exist before the nineteenth century. By the 1900s, a wave of bright coal tar dyes had begun to transform the Western world. Originally intended for textiles, the new dyes soon permeated daily life in unexpected ways, and by the time the risks and uncertainties surrounding the synthesized chemicals began to surface, they were being used in everything from clothes and home furnishings to cookware and food.

In A Rainbow Palate, Carolyn Cobbold explores how the widespread use of new chemical substances influenced perceptions and understanding of food, science, and technology, as well as trust in science and scientists. Because the new dyes were among the earliest contested chemical additives in food, the battles over their use offer striking insights and parallels into today’s international struggles surrounding chemical, food, and trade regulation.

  2 comments for “Carolyn Cobbold, A Rainbow Palate, How Chemical Dyes Changed the West’s Relationship with Food

  1. David Love Winston Keeney
    December 17, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Food Prep et alllllll???

    How are the rest of us ever to compete. Choreography – dramatic talents galore, OMG!!! And not to mention the repartee which has been developed for decades!!!!

    Now Jeff Novick teaches how to fix good food in 10 minutes😉😉😉

  2. David Love Winston Keeney
    December 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    First Part of show:

    OMG, are we all not someone’s lab rat??? Who wants to be the first to take the vaccine????

    And why aren’t we talking more about why those with comorbities are getting hammered and how to avoid it.

    I diverge a tad: but two of the most highly respected researchers differ – one says mask/the other no way in hell!!! One says vaccine/not first in line/but yes; the other never.

    I am always blown away by the whole unintended consequence thing. And often it is intentional!!!

    Can anyone be trusted???

    Protein from the 1800s/still dominating the landscape and likely will for the duration of my life to 2100!!!

    Every day I discover more “pimp$$$” pursuing the buck regardless of consequence:

    Most restauranteurs!!!! And fast food purveyors. Virtually all “food” manufacturers.

    Pharma/Education – Dietetics and the whole industrial complex;

    Medical Pimp$/as Greger notes 3rd leading cause of death in America!!!

    Chemical pimp$$$

    I tend to be an optimist but I have Been battered by those who hammer me for telling truth!!!!

    And I am more excited about the future now more than ever!!

    How many centuries will it take for peoples respect to adapt. They say we are with food where we were with cigarettes 50 years ago.

    I am immensely grateful to be 50 years ahead and I have been aware for 50+ years. But it is a challenge. I I am more and more prepared to do my part.

    Enjoyed learning more about VEGFUND today!!!

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