Food and Society explores the influence of food, dining, and nutrition on cultural aspects of the human experience. We will examine the production, distribution and consumption of food internationally, and learn how food practices are impacted by culture, politics, environment, and technology. Around the world, we each interpret the act of eating with complex meanings both biological and psychological. Food can be symbolic or mundane, medicinal or nourishing, abundant or scarce. We all have to eat, yet what and how much we eat is shaped as much by our society and environment as it is by hunger and fullness. This course will address the following topics: food patterns and food systems; food identity and cuisine; sources of nutrition advice; industrialization and branding; food access; food taboos and traditions; dining away from home; fast food and slow food; food politics; and body ideals. We will reveal, in short, all the ways food touches human lives.
Field WorkCountry: India
Date: February 28, 2018
Food influences and is influenced by society. This food-focused field class will explore cultural aspects of food availability and purchasing by visiting a local market, where students will observe food systems in action. Next, we will travel to a family home where we will participate in the preparation of a traditional Indian lunch, then share stories with our hostess. This will give students the opportunity to explore class topics related to food identity, nutrition beliefs, and eating traditions. After lunch, we will visit the Folklore Museum, a cultural collection of artifacts that shaped not just food and society but the life of locals over the past 1000 years.
- Experience foods and dishes that are unique to India
- Observe food systems in the availability and purchasing of local ingredients/spices/pepper
- Appreciate the role of food in the formation of identity, beliefs and tradition over hundreds of years