Article ID: CBB001552762

Nurturing the Citizens of the Future: Milk Stations and Child Nutrition in Puerto Rico, 1929--60 (2015)


Between the 1930s and 1960s Puerto Rico was transformed from a marginal United States territory into an industrialised `showcase of development'. This article investigates the organisation of milk station programmes on the island during this crucial period and how these reflected the circulation of child welfare knowledge, nutrition expertise and public health practices. During the Depression, these perspectives fostered a recast of the eugenic regeneration ideologies motivating medical assessments of and sanitary interventions with Puerto Rico's rural poor since the nineteenth century. Innovations in nutrition knowledge and an emerging rural hygiene movement highlighted the negative health effects of the island's monocrops economy. In this context, the nourishment of children's bodies assumed symbolic and instrumental significance for the reconfiguration of colonial and developmental models promoted by the new Popular Democratic Party (PPD). The experience of public health professionals in relief work during the 1930s contributed to the articulation of food and nutrition as key elements of this party's populist discourse. Programmes like milk stations became part of strategies to rear and manage the labour force needed in the industrial development model promoted by the PPD. From the perspective of poor Puerto Ricans, however, they were part of the materialisation of its promise of social justice for the poorer classes.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Thorley, Virginia; (2014)
Australian School Milk Schemes to 1974: For the Benefit of Whom? (/isis/citation/CBB001421884/) unapi

Thesis Elisa M. Gonzalez; (2016)
Food for Every Mouth: Nutrition, Agriculture, and Public Health in Puerto Rico, 1920s-1960s (/isis/citation/CBB764086545/) unapi

Book Rollet, Catherine; (2008)
Les carnets de santé des enfants (/isis/citation/CBB001022274/) unapi

Book Trujillo-Pagán, Nicole; (2013)
Modern Colonization by Medical Intervention: U.S. Medicine in Puerto Rico (/isis/citation/CBB001213990/) unapi

Article Smith-Howard, Kendra; (2010)
Antibiotics and Agricultural Change: Purifying Milk and Protecting Health in the Postwar Era (/isis/citation/CBB001020842/) unapi

Book Theunissen, Bert; (2010)
De Koe: Het Verhaal van het Nederlandse Melkvee, 1900--2000 (/isis/citation/CBB001031841/) unapi

Article Karina Inés Ramacciotti; (2018)
Telma Reca en la gestión estatal de la sanidad argentina (1930-1948) (/isis/citation/CBB110841310/) unapi

Book Anthony Ryan Hatch; (2016)
Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (/isis/citation/CBB245142743/) unapi

Book Bernabeu Mestre, Josep; Barona, Josep Lluís; (2011)
Nutrición, salud y sociedad: España y Europa en los siglos XIX y XX (/isis/citation/CBB001450538/) unapi

Book Elizabeth Neswald; David F. Smith; Ulrike Thoms; (2017)
Setting Nutritional Standards: Theory, Policies, Practices (/isis/citation/CBB604486246/) unapi

Article Frances Steel; (2005)
'New Zealand is Butterland': Interpreting the Historical Significance of a Daily Spread (/isis/citation/CBB567650079/) unapi

Chapter Thoms, Ulrike; (2006)
Einbruch, Aufbruch, Durchbruch? Ernährungsforschung in Deutschland vor und nach 1945 (/isis/citation/CBB000953814/) unapi

Book Bengoa Lecanda, José María; (2005)
Tras la ruta del hambre: Nutrición y salud pública en el Siglo XX (/isis/citation/CBB000501524/) unapi

Thesis Nicole Welk-Joerger; (2020)
Feeding Others to Feed Ourselves: Animal Nutrition and the Politics of Health, 1900–2019 (/isis/citation/CBB263318909/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Bengoa Lecanda, José María
Thomas, Ulrike
Kopke, Christoph
Smith-Howard, Kendra
Rollet, Catherine
Theunissen, Bert
Agricultural History
Journal of Historical Geography
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Science in Context
Health and History
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Columbia University
Publicaciones Universidad de Alicante
La Dispute
Allen & Unwin
Public health
Medicine and politics
Dairy industry
Food and foods
Reca, Telma
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
United States
Puerto Rico
Departamento Nacional de Higiene (Argentina)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment