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Lecture 11

ANTHROP 1AA3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Slow Food, The Item, Fetishism

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Tristan Carter

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Anthropology Week #11
Lecture #1: ‘Food Fetishes’ - Dr. Alyson Holland
Food as Culture: Fetishism
What is food?
- Tend to confuse food and consumption
- Food: The item and it’s meaning - there is whole background to that food
- Consumption: The process of eating - physical process, chewing, swallowing, breaking it
down chemically
Food as Culture and Identity
- Everybody eats
- What and how we eat can become an expression of our ideas and beliefs
- Essential to our survival and to keep our bodies going in order to the things we need to
- We don’t need to eat the same things, we have the ability to modify the way we eat and
make food
- The choices we make about food are based on our beliefs
- The availability of food is different
- Foods is associated with different environmental and cultural factors
- Is a representative of our status in our society - more expensive foods is the way of
displaying our wealth and our status
- Food reflects ideas and beliefs around the world - food taboos; madagascar - types of
foods that you should not eat (a type of monkey): all of this results in restrictions of foods
- Some foods are given certain meaning - for thanksgiving, christmas, easter
- Some foods are used as art - the experience of eating may be more important that just
the aspect of eating
- Food is no longer a survival concept - it represents many different things
Expression through food (ben and jerry’s ice cream)
- A single food can have many meanings
Emotion- eat when happy or sad, pleasure- underlying feelings
associated with that food
Memory- remember a specific moment in time when you had this food,
Politics - decides the foods that are available to us
Ethics- the type of product and how it's made is influential on how/why
people make their choices
Social - women tend to eat less when they are in social groups and men
tend to eat more (people around us influence the choice we make)
Guilt - may not be the most healthy food (come with a certain amount of
guilt, are you willing to feel guilty)
New - i haven’t had it before, maybe they are just into trying new things
Popular culture - yes i am in touch with pop culture, yes this has meaning
to me
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