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Beastly encounters of the RajLivelihoods, livestock and veterinary health in India, 1790-1920$
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Saurabh Mishra

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089725

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089725.001.0001

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Food adulteration, public health, and middle-class anxieties

Food adulteration, public health, and middle-class anxieties

(p.102) Chapter Five Food adulteration, public health, and middle-class anxieties
Beastly encounters of the Raj

Saurabh Mishra

Manchester University Press

This chapter will move away from rural India, which has been the subject of the previous chapters, and focus on urban centres such as Calcutta and Bombay. It will look at the consumption pattern of dairy products such as milk and ghee (clarified butter), which were the staple food products in middle class homes. During the twentieth century we come across increasing instances of middle class anxiety over adulteration of these dairy items, leading to several legislations about purity standards. The reasons for this anxiety will be explored, and links will be made between colonial modernity and rural pasts. We will also discuss new colonial public health measures around the question of adulteration of food products–an area that was of grave concern to the vast majority of urban dwellers. The overall aim will be to ruminate upon the nature of the emerging middle class in urban areas.

Keywords:   Adulteration, milk, ghee, middle class, vanaspati, marwari

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