Jonathan Slater

Jonathan Slater

PhD Student

Department of International History

Connect with me

English, German
Key Expertise
WWI, Food History

About me

Jonathan is originally from Paw Paw, Michigan in the United States of America. He holds a BA in Political Science and Arabic Studies from DePaul University, and an MA/MSc dual degree from Columbia University and LSE. Jonathan is currently working under the supervision of Professor David Stevenson and Dr David Motadel. He is currently the PhD Social Chair and organizes the PhD Weekly Coffee Hour seminar.

Provisional thesis title

Indigestible, Disgusting, and Vile: The Development and Regulation of Ersatz Food Products in Germany during the First World War

My research is a comprehensive study of the development, production, reception, and regulation of ersatz (substitute) food products in Germany during the First World War. Using a source base comprised of archives across multiple regions of Germany, I will examine how ersatz food products were developed, the impact they had on the nutritional health of the population, and how that reacted to those products. It will reexamine previously held beliefs about these foods’ nutritional value using current understandings of nutritional science, and it will analyze the cultural and societal values which determined the reception these food products received by the population at large. Overall, I hope to encourage a reimagining of ersatz food products, away from previously held conceptions of “indigestible” food, and towards an understanding of the potentially beneficial impacts these products had on maintaining the nutritional health and eating habits of Germans during and after the war.

Expertise Details

German History; WWI History; Food History; Ersatz Food Products; Nutrition