To Feed a Nation

To Feed a Nation

A history of food technology in Australia

A comprehensive overview of Australian food science and technology including Aboriginal culture and European settlement

  • 1 November 2007 | Updated 14 October 2011

Farrer K. 2005. To Feed a Nation: A History of Australian Food Science and Technology. CSIRO PUBLISHING, Collingwood, Victoria. 244 pp. Illustrations.

This book takes the reader on a journey over the centuries, describing the slow and arduous development of Australian food technology and science from before European settlement to the latter half of the twentieth century.

The first part of the book gives a fascinating glimpse into Aboriginal food and culture, outlines the primitive state of European food technology at the time of the First Fleet, and shows how the colonists tried to transfer to Australia the village technologies they knew in England.

Understanding the nature of food, nutrition and micro-organisms has propelled us to where we are today.

The second part describes how, for most of the nineteenth century, technology preceded science, the processing and storage of food relied on methods which, by trial and error, had been shown to work and, as a consequence, food science was slow to emerge.

The final part of the book highlights the twentieth century watershed, how a growing understanding of the nature of food, the principles of nutrition, and the role of micro-organisms, has been able to propel food technology to where it is today.

It was published for the Food Technology Association of Victoria.

Find out more about CSIRO's work with Food.