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Food for Thought

Food law is a particularly hot topic now (see story). But an appetite for the mixture of food and law has been building for centuries. The HLS Library collection includes books and documents that highlight some of the historical rules and regulations surrounding everything comestible, including bread, meat, fruit, and sugar and spice. And from the time of Henry VIII, it shows a vast volume of laws pertaining to alcoholic beverages. As one legal dissertation written in 1656 on the law of beer put it: “It should not be beneath the dignity of a lawyer to investigate diligently the nature of beer.” To read more about these items, see HLS Librarian Mary L. Person’s “Sundry Good and Needfull Ordinances: Food & Drink in the Law Library.”