BC Food History Network Home Page


BC Food History Network Home Page

Why Food History?

“Food is not just what we eat. It is an expression of who we are, how we live and the world we inhabit” (Kurlansky, 2007). What we eat plays a large part in defining our relationships with others. “Food, to a large extent, is what holds a society together” (Farb &  Amelagos, 1980). It is used to strengthen the bonds between individuals, families and communities. In families certain foods define roles, rules, and traditions. Certain foods are the embodiment of spirituality, beliefs, traditions, customs, norms, practices and celebration. Eating is an agricultural act that compels us to understand the connections between eating and the land (Berry, 1990).

The BC Food History Network turns ten years old in 2021. The domain name was purchased in 2011, and the first activities appeared shortly thereafter. Dr. Linda Peterat came up with the idea and enlisted Dr. Mary Gale Smith and Dr. Mary Leah de Zwart to be part of the BC Food History Network. The BCFHN has continued to research the history of food production and consumption in BC,  Western Canada, and wherever else we find connections to food and history.  Food history blogs on a regular basis began in 2016, and we have written over 150 blogs since then on a wide range of subjects. Check out the most recent blog here!

We have also written and researched other topics, as well as academic papers. Please see the following paper for a rationale about incorporating historical perspectives into food studies by Gale and Mary Leah.

For the specific objectives of the BC Food History network and more information about the founders, please see About This Site on the website.


The BC Food History Network acknowledges grants and contributions of individuals and organizations since its establishment in 2011.

BCHF Certificate for Best Website 2016