With the growth of industrialization
and the need for a large workforce able to work long hours at a
proper nutrition, the introduction of food drugs to the working class
them to obtain the energy needed to work the long hours required by
to obtain large profits. In this essay I will discuss the growth of the
industrial revolution as well as the growth of drugs
foods and their impact
upon the working class families during the late 18th
Owner, Rich on the blood
Fatcat Factory Owner, Rich on the blood
Of his employees
Of his employees
The industrial revolution brought many
great advances and changes to the life of the European working class in
late 18th century. Factories with steam- powered machines
allowed for mass production
filled the major capital of every country. To fill
the factories, a shift in population was necessary. The urbanization of
European countries led many families to give up the agricultural life
ancestors and move to the big cities to work in factories. With the
farm productivity in
The family life of the working class
also changed immensely due to the move to from the countryside to the
People were forced to work long hours on monotonous jobs which was a
from slow agricultural life of the past. Families now had little time
to see each
other and share in meals together. The workers were forced into a life
poverty, often living in tenements since cities could not handle the
people. This caused a huge change in the public works necessary to keep
from starving and to keep their citizens warm.
Many European cities faced shortages of both wood and coal due
growth of the cities in the 18th and 19th
Faced with a lack of nutritious food and a lack of a family life, European countries needed a way to keep their workforce still producing productively. The answer they were looking for came from their new world conquests. With the arrival of new world products such as coffee, tea and sugar people could now work the long hours necessary with little food and no breaks. The arrival of caffeine and stimulants led to the decline of an earlier enhancer, alcohol. “Alcohol was commonly used as a labor enhancer on plantations and haciendas, in the mines, in the merchant marine, and during the earliest phase of industrial capitalism in factories(3)”. Unfortunately, the depressant side effects of alcohol and its incapacitating effects led to its decline as a labor enhancer. According to William Jankowiak and Dan Bradburd, “ the rise of industrial capitalism and its more sophisticated technology, the use of alcohol as a labor enhancer lost favor. Moreover, there was often pressure for regulation or even prohibition of its use, and it was replaced (or its use was tempered) by alternative drug foods such as coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar-the latter consumed in combination with any of the above, alongside of them, or alone”(4). With the arrival of new drug foods into the working class life and with the extinction of old ones, working class life would change dramatically.
The growth of food drugs was not only
from their ability to stimulate work but also the attraction consumers
to their exotic nature. In industrial
The arrival of food drugs onto the
Honduras Coffee Plantation
However, to say that the consumption of drug foods was entirely a free choice for consumers would be forgetting an important part of the consumption history of drug foods. Drug foods had a specific convenient property about them; they were both addictive and their use encouraged immediate consumption, meaning that they were not hoarded or stored, since consumers normally looked forward to their afternoon tea with sugar and would not save these goods for special occasions(8). Drug foods were also necessary for employees, who now had to follow a standardized, regimented work day that usually would involve waking up early, which would require the drinking of the morning cup of coffee. According to Smith, factory productivity studies during the mid 19th century showed that a worker who came to work and drank coffee was more productive and needed fewer breaks than those who consumed beer ( beer soup was a common working class breakfast) for breakfast(9).
The life of a factory worker was a hard life, which included little pay, long hours and constant harassment from employers and management. The effects of the factory life were also felt in the homes of the workers. Sugar became an important part of the working family's diet, since it provided the energy of a nutritious meal without the need for nutrients. Sugar was also praised for its convenience in the hustle and bustle of the family life. Sweetened preserves that would not sour could now be used to replace 1-2 meals a day. These preserves were favored by children who enjoyed the sweet taste and could make themselves a calorie-filled snack with some jam and bread, and did not need a parent to cook them food. Tea was also marketed using the same idea of convenience and speed, often advertising that grinding machines and expensive brewers needed to make coffee was not necessary to get your caffeine fix(10).
In conclusion, the arrival of drug foods into the 18th and 19th century markets allowed for capitalism to flourish, and also allowed for major advances in both technology and society. The life of the average factory worker would not get any easier until the arrival of unions and government regulations of working conditions. However, the need for drug foods to handle work is still as prevalent today as it was in the 19th century. The growth of such drug dealers as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, 7-11, and Wa-Wa shows that we are still the same sugar-loving, caffeine craving, nicotine demanding masses that our ancestors were 200 years ago; only now we pay for it not only in our wallet, but our health.