DTS200 Lecture #3 January 22, 2013
- What do you know about sugar?
o In the reading sugar use to be known as a spice and a luxury, motive for slave trade,
produced from sugar cane (not always the case), addictive,
Foodways 1: sugar
- How we can use food to understand diaspora, transnationalism
- Food system components in large-scale agrarian societies
o The food core-legume-fringe hypothesis
Core= One or more complex carbohydrates for calories- wheat, maize, barley,
millet potatoes, yam, etc...
According to food scholars they have come understand that all food
systems in the world, whether western African, Caribbean, are
constructed around core, legume, and fringe.
They suggest every culture always has a basic core
o Ex: Italians- pasta
Legume= accompanying legumes for protein- soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, black-
eyed beans, groundnuts, etc. Meats and fish were used as a supplementary
proteins when they would be found
Meat was typically eaten by the elite classes; therefore this model
applies to the agricultural cultures.
o Ex: agrarian societies
The poor would eat legumes throughout the year and then eat meat
Meat is reduced to a ritual function
Fringe= a fringe of flavours and enhancers. These are either nutritive and/or
simply aid in the consumption of the large quantities of the core carbohydrates-
animal protein, sugar, salt, mustard, miso, wine, soy sauce, teas, pickles and all
manner of spices
The enhances are there to aid people in eating more carbohydrates as
This third system may seem to be the least important but it is actually
the most important because the core cannot be consumed without the
Once you think in terms of this hypothesis you can take it into many directions
Ex: famine- means they are not having enough core carbohydrates
The basic diets in agrarian societies were traditionally low in animal proteins,
even though the upper classes were always likely to be consumers of meat
The theory has to be qualified for predominantly hunter-gatherer pastoral, or
fishing societies. When you enter any community you can tell the hierarchies within the
communities in relation to who eats what.
Who eats legumes compared to who eats more meat.
In terms of food systems this core-legume-fringe hypothesis is the most
- Food systems
o Elements of a food system
Food, nutrition, health, agriculture and national or community development
Processes and infrastructure: growing, harvesting, transport, consumption and
Bio fuel foot print added to the food: when the food is transported from
Environmental dimensions of food systems
Political, social and economic contexts.
o Types of food systems
Local food systems- ex: farmers markets
Fewer bio—fuel miles
Industrial food systems- ex: metro, Loblaw’s, MacDonald’s...
Ex: banana: not grown in canada its process to get here is huge
Slavery provided the grounds for this system
Alternative food systems- ex: organic foods; fair trade
- Key scholarly debates concerning food systems
o The food sector and its potential for regional economic development
o How to include local processors and merchants in the supple chains linking farmers to
o 3. The impact of long distance trade on the links between sustainable agriculture,
climate change and fossil fuels
o 4. Food and the labor market: migrant labor, seasonal labor, labor trafficking
o 5.the dependency of local food cultures on global networks
o 6. Food security/ food and security
o 7. Food systems and international trade
o 8. Supermarkets and their purchasing strategies
Ex: tomato industry- dependent on seasonal labor which tends to be smuggled.
How do these supermarkets get there foods? Do they known how it is grown
and by whom?
- Colonialism and the industrial food system
o The industrial food system was a direct off-shoot of empire and colonialism and