Shaping Nutrition

The role of state institutions in the production of nutritional knowledge in Maoist China

Authored by: Renée Krusche

Routledge Handbook of Food in Asia

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138669918
eBook ISBN: 9781315617916
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter traces the publication and education efforts of China’s Ministry of Health in the Maoist period in the realm of nutrition sciences as a means to strengthen the national body. In looking at protein and vitamin C specifically, the idea of nutritional governmentality is explored. In the end a scientific picture of the body arises that could be controlled and used by a knowledgeable authority to its advantage. Where the body was split up into its different functions and parts in the wake of the scientification of China, food as a formerly sensual but necessary concept underwent the same fragmentation, that is, macro and micro nutrients.

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