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Why Americans Eat Like Animals

The Industrial Revolution Changed the Nature of Work and the Way Workers Took Their Meals

By Abigail Carroll
October 5, 2015

American eaters, they’re like a pack of animals, hustling dinner in 10 minutes or less. It sounds like a recent complaint, but in fact it comes from 1864, when the Englishman John Francis Campbell was startled at the rapidity with which fellow steamboat passengers consumed their meals as they floated down the Ohio River. They were quick as foxhounds over their food, he marveled. Because service was family style, you risked leaving the table hungry if you failed to keep …

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