Thus beside several works by Claude Bernard, von Liebig, Lavoisier and others, which illuminate the growth of chemical and physiological knowledge, and thus supply the scientific background, one can also find books that illustrate the broader cultural background, and deal with gastronomy, cooking, serving and table manners and household management. There are also books that provide the social context for diet, nutrition and hygiene, found in works that deal with medicaments, diet and cooking for the poor, military cooking and hygiene and with urban ecology (Parmentier, Cadet de-Vaux, Hassall, etc.). An especially fascinating connection between food, the sciences and society is provided by a series of books that deal with the adulteration of food and drugs and with food and drug analysis, a subject that motivated and was seminal to the rise of analytical chemistry.
The collection goes beyond the history of modern western society to include works and early prints by Greek, Muslim and Christian authors and physicians from the Renaissance, the Middle Ages and even back to the Hellenic period. These are dietetic and therapeutic works of 'regimen sanitatis', Materia Medica, and recipe books (Ibn-Butlan, Bacon, Al-Razi, Cardano, Galen, Porphyry).
Significant as it is for scholars and researchers in the relevant fields of the history of food, diet and nutrition, the Yudkin collection is also a treat for anyone interested in the complex history of science, medicine, society, culture and their interactions.