Helen Zoe Veit specializes in the history of food in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is now writing a book called Picky: A History of American Children’s Food, which traces the relatively recent emergence of picky eating among children in the United States.
Her first book, Modern Food, Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Eating in the Early Twentieth Century (UNC Press, 2013) explores food and nutrition in the Progressive Era. Modern Food, Moral Food was a finalist for the 2014 James Beard Award in Reference and Scholarship.
Veit’s writing on food history has appeared in a variety of academic journals and in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a member of the editorial collective of Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies.
Since 2019, she has served as a historical consultant for the forthcoming HBO historical drama, The Gilded Age.
She directs the What America Ate project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, a digital archive and interactive website on food in the Great Depression.
Veit has edited three books with the American Food in History book series with Michigan State University Press. The first, Food in the Civil War Era: The North (2014) won Gourmand International’s award for best cookbook in a series published in the United States and was a finalist for the award in food history from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The second book in the series, Food in the Civil War Era: The South, was released in 2015 and the third, Food in the American Gilded Age, was released in 2017.
Veit teaches a variety of classes at Michigan State on American history, food, and culture. She was named the 2018 College of Social Science Outstanding Teacher.