Food adulteration, public health, and middle-class anxieties
in Beastly encounters of the Raj
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This chapters looks at how villages and village life was perceived by the growing middle class in rapidly urbanising cities such as Calcutta. The question of adulteration of food items, in the chapter, became a metonym for all the various problems that plagued the middle-class existence. In the second decade of the twentieth century, a completely unforeseen new development suddenly transformed the nature and intensity of all existing debate surrounding ghee adulteration. These new developments created new anxieties, and the middle class had nowhere else to turn to for redress but the colonial state. As a result of these growing fears, a number of laws were passed on the subject of adulteration from the 1880s onwards. A huge factor that contributed towards building up the public furore around adulteration, especially of milk and milk products, was the new concern for the rising child mortality rates.

Beastly encounters of the Raj

Livelihoods, livestock and veterinary health in North India, 1790–1920


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