History

To examine the historical (socio-political) development of Kingston’s foodscapes and changes in diets since World War II through to the present.

The historical research for the Caribbean foodscapes project was entirely archive based. The principal data sources were newspapers from Jamaica for the period 1945-2010 roughly. The leading papers for this period were as follows: The Daily Gleaner, The Star, Public Opinion, Daily News (with a shorter run than the others, 1973-1982). In addition to these sources, data were gathered from magazines (for example, Pagoda for the 1950a), secondary literature on food in the Caribbean and maps. These additional sources were mostly supplemental and it is the rich and highly informative store of period newspapers that make up the bulk of the data.

The Daily Gleaner is the island’s oldest daily and is completely online. Research into this source is mainly done through the online availability of digital copies of extant issues. The Star, Public Opinion and Daily News exist only in hard copy paper form at the National Library of Jamaica with some runs at the Special Collections of the University of the West Indies Library.

The historical research aimed to mine, without prejudice, the material for any information on foodways and changes in diet over time. To do this we have given very close and specific attention to advertisements, food lists, price lists of food items, and articles on market produce. Where there were regularly features on food-related news and matters, such as weekly food supplements in the press, this was also noted.