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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Peter Atkins

Atkins, P.J. (2010). Liquid materialities: a history of milk, science and the law. Farnham: Ashgate.

Author(s) from Durham


The material that we call milk is a food that has been revered and ignored, respected and feared, in almost equal measure. This book is a history of attempts to bring it under control, manipulate its naturally variable composition and, in effect, redraw the boundaries between nature and society. In the name of quality, attempts were made to purify it of dirt and disease, and to impose norms about fat content, but these were always constrained by what is called here ‘material resistance’. The book amounts to a new kind of food history that addresses the stuff in foodstuffs.


9780754698197 (e-book)