Preaching “the Gospel of Clean Fish”: Rational Consumption at the Canadian National Exhibition, 1913–1919
At Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition in 1913, Canada’s fisheries department launched a campaign to promote fish consumption. The campaign included a model retail fish shop, a cookbook, and a fish restaurant, and assumed women were irrational consumers who required training in fish purchasing and preparation. The campaign is an example of “rational consumption,” a termed coined by Carolyn Goldstein to describe the shift from production to consumption in home-economics education in the early twentieth century. The Canadian fish-consumption campaign, which embodies “rational consumption,” was important because it marked the Canadian state’s first recognition of consumers in calculations about fisheries policy.