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Dietary reform in the Baltic and East Central Europe. Special issue of BALTIC WORLDS 2022:1-2.



Baltic Worlds is a scholarly journal, published by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm. It covers diverse topics, related to the history, transitology, and the state of contemporary societies in the region, from the perspective of social sciences and humanities. It was an intellectual pleasure to see an entire issue, devoted to food and eating Dietary reforms 1850-1950 The volume was titled Dietary reform in the Baltic and East Central Europe and appeared in the Spring of 2022 under the editorship of Dr. Julia Malitska from Södertörn University, who introduced the theme and the contributions.


The three peer-reviewed articles discuss vegetarianism, one of the earliest and most influential attempts to reform the nutrition of the human omnivore. The focus of all three texts is the modern discourse, as promised by the title of the collection. Dr. Malitska reviews the developments around the movement in pre-1917 Russia, as seen in the detailed analysis of the All-Russian Vegetarian Congress in Moscow in 1913 and against the intellectual background. Dr. Anu Kannike, Senior Researcher at Estonian National Museum and Dr. Ester Bardone, Lecturer at University of Tartu, use diverse texts to trace the efforts to educate the Estonian public about the benefits of all vegetarian consumption. Dr. Albena Shkodrova, researcher at the Institute for Social Movements at the Ruhr University-Bochum, Germany, compares the ambiguous relationship of the totalitarian propaganda in Bulgaria with earlier reformist efforts, such as the vegetarianism. An interview with Prof. Corinna Treitel from Washington University in St. Louis about dietary ideas in Germany, and an essay on Swedish state regulation on food safety until the end of World War II, expand the geographic scope and the richness of materials and observations.


The volume demonstrates amply the advantages of electronic publishing with a number of less-known and difficult to find illustrations. One hopes that a second volume, devoted to the postwar and contemporary dietary reforms in the Baltics and Eastern Europe will be appear soon.

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