It was Paul Vidal de la Blache (1926) who noted that among the connexions between nature and culture, ‘one of the most tenacious is food supply’. Nineteenth and early twentieth century geographers emphasized this mainly in discussions on the importance of physical geography as a key set of constraining variables in human activity. Soils and climate were identified as fundamental to food production, and so indeed they were in economies dominated by subsistent peasant agriculture. Since then the steady progress of urbanization and industrialization has put paid to such deterministic assumptions, in the developed world at least, and modern social scientists have different perspectives on the environmental context of the economy in general and consumption in particular.