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Food has always been integrated into society, but the way we perceive it and deal with it in the realm of economics has shifted greatly, especially concerning the distinction between meals and snacking. From the start, foods labeled as snacks have suffered from an image problem. Snacks were first introduced to the masses largely as a result of urbanization in the 19th century, but it was not until mass production and commercialization allowed for wide distribution and changes to packaging that snacks began to enter into the mainstream of respectability and domestic life.

Original snack foods such as peanuts and popcorn had a long history before they were relegated to the category of street wares. Peanuts, originally from South America, had been a staple in southern ...

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