The Fishmeal Revolution: The Industrialization of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem (Paperback)

The Fishmeal Revolution: The Industrialization of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem By Kristin A. Wintersteen Cover Image

The Fishmeal Revolution: The Industrialization of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem (Paperback)


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Off the Pacific coast of South America, nutrients mingle with cool waters rising from the ocean’s depths, creating one of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems: the Humboldt Current. When the region’s teeming populations of fish were converted into a key ingredient in animal feed—fishmeal—it fueled the revolution in chicken, hog, and fish farming that swept the United States and northern Europe after World War II.

The Fishmeal Revolution explores industrialization along the Peru-Chile coast as fishmeal producers pulverized and exported unprecedented volumes of marine proteins to satisfy the growing taste for meat among affluent consumers in the Global North. A relentless drive to maximize profits from the sea occurred at the same time that Peru and Chile grappled with the challenge of environmental uncertainty and its potentially devastating impact. In this exciting new book, Kristin A. Wintersteen offers an important history and critique of the science and policy that shaped the global food industry.
Kristin A. Wintersteen is a scholar of modern Latin America, environmental history, and global food studies. She earned her PhD in History from Duke University.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520379633
ISBN-10: 0520379632
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Pages: 246
Language: English

"The Fishmeal Revolution will appeal to many scholars, particularly those interested in envirotechnical history and transnational history. Scholars interested in scientific uncertainty, particularly around the environment, will learn much from this volume. By telling a story that includes businesses, fishers, scientific researchers, and government officials across the globe, the monograph also demonstrates how to simultaneously tell history from below and from above."

— Technology and Culture

"The Fishmeal Revolution provides an excellent overview of a dizzying array of primary source material in a concise history based on a well-informed discussion of the Humboldt Current region’s natural properties. It is a welcome addition to literature on resource extraction and human-environment interactions in Latin America."
— Hispanic American Historical Review

"At once unsettling and highly informative, Kristin Wintersteen’s much-needed exploration of the history of the Peruvian and Chilean fisheries focuses on the huge volumes of fish hidden in the diets of billions of people globally. A rich, quasi-environmental history."
— Isis