A quote from Gastronomica.
"After hearing about the cannibalism to which the Donner Party resorted in 1846, [Gail] Borden decided to invent a process for condensing foods so that pioneers would never risk starvation again. Borden declared that he intended to put a potato in a pillbox, a pumpkin in a tablespoon, the biggest sort of watermelon in a saucer...."
In the end he failed to do minimize food, but did invent condensed milk.
That got me thinking about other franken-food developments. Remember when eggs were declared off limits in the '90s and we ended up with egg beaters?