'The First Vegetarian Diet Defended With Science'
Professor Ken Albala
(University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA, USA)
Wednesday 20 May 2009 at 1730
Lecture Theatre, Fifth Floor, Wellcome Building
183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE UK
This paper examines the very first scientific defence of a vegetarian diet
in the Traité de dispenses du Carême by Philippe Hecquet published in 1709.
It appears in the context of a myriad of excuses found by those who wanted
to eat meat during Lent. Hecquet presents an extremely well argued defence
of a diet based on grains and vegetables, according to the iatro-mechanic
theories of his time.
Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in
Stockton, California, where he teaches courses on the Renaissance and
Reformation, Food History and the History of Medicine. He is the author of
nine books on food history, including The Banquet: Dining in the Great
Courts of Late Renaissance Europe (University of Illinois Press, 2007),
Beans: A History (winner of the 2008 International Association of Culinary
Professionals Jane Grigson Award and the Cordon D'Or award for Food
History/Literature), Pancake (Reaktion Press, 2008), and the forthcoming
World Cuisines, written with the Culinary Institute of America (Wiley
Publishers). He is editor of three food series for Greenwood Press and is
also editing a 4-volume Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia for them.
He is currently researching a history of theological controversies
surrounding fasting in the Reformation Era, and is editing two collected
volumes of essays, one on the Renaissance (Berg) and the other on Food and
Faith (Columbia University Press). He is also co-authoring a cookbook,
provisionally entitled The Antiquated Kitchen (Penguin/Perigee).
Registration not required. The lecture will be followed by a reception.
For information on our other events, please see: