Notes on 7 Articles

The Embodied Imagination in Recent Writings on Food History

  • In the “1960s and 1970s, food had a central role in the scholarly revival of the Cartesian mind/body dualism” (861)
  • “Flavor comprises a gestalt of inputs from all five senses, filtered through memories of past eating experiences, to assemble culturally recognizable patterns.” (862)
  • “three recurring themes—social distinction, industrial transformation, and food politics—are often expressed through the embodied imagination of taste, purity, and hunger.” (863)
  • Changing tastes is contributing to how purity of food is perceived in the industrial age (864)
  • Taste was at first considered secondary in the field of food history, as they looked at the nutrition of it first (865)
  • “Historical studies of changing tastes started with the elite” (865)
  • After conquering the Mediterranean, Romans began to develop a taste for the foods of the area (865)
  • “Spanish settlers in the Americas went to great lengths to obtain familiar European food for fear that an indigenous diet would lead to bodily degeneration.” (871)
  • “Earle concluded that diet was not simply an artifact of disembodied cultural identity, but rather an active agent in producing the colonial body and the system of castes, Latin America’s hierarchy of racial mixture. Yong Chen has likewise described how the so-called ‘Chinese restaurant smell’ contributed to the imagination of racial difference within the United States.” (871)
  • “1960s counterculture in the United States as a turning point in the rise of interest in peasant cuisines and culinary tourism.” (872)
  • “Contemporary concerns about food arise largely from the enormous distances, both geographical and social, it travels from farm to fork.” (873)
  • “As the working classes came to depend on undifferentiated although increasingly affordable commodities, identifiable origins came to brand luxury goods.” applying to the 1800’s up to present. (875)
  • “Contemporary nostalgia for local food often diverges sharply from past fantasies about the exotic.” (875)
  • “These new consumer preferences were based not only on the quality of the products, but also on their provenance, either real or imagined.” example given: French enjoying canned food due to military service and domestic education. (876)
  • “Obesity, rather than hunger, was viewed as the looming health crisis of the contemporary era” “But even as the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease soared in poor and rich countries alike, a sudden spike in global grain prices around 2007 led to widespread food riots, reasserting the political significance of hunger.” (880)
  • “famines result not from shortages of supply alone, but also from political and market failures of distribution.” (881)
  • “classical Greek and Roman civic deals exalted self-sufficiency and rejected government distribution of food.” “planted the seed for the modern Western notion that the poor were morally responsible for their own hunger.” (882)
  • “With the rise of an industrial diet in the United States, hunger itself was reimagined as a moral failing that was materialized through the overweight body.” “medical emphasis had shifted from calculating nutrients to measuring bodies and populations”  (885)
  • “The everyday repetition of food practices continually reinforces them in personal and collective memories.” (886)

“The Bounty of Providence”: Food and Identity in William Byrd’s The History of the Dividing Line

  • “sociocultural practices related to the production, preparation, and consumption of food and drink—play an important role in the perpetuation of communal cohesion and identity” (37)
  • Virginians did not want to deviate too much from the English foodways “Wealthy Virginians like Byrd may have been willing to eat native American foods, but that willingness did not eliminate a concern with the effects of those foods upon his body.” (37)
  • “Faced with the belief that eating native foods like maize could physically alter their bodies and lead to an inferior social identity” (39)
  • “Byrd’s method for achieving this was to emphasize continuity between English and American Foods.” to convince colonists that it was alright to eat ‘American Foods’ (39)
  • “Food provides a connection to home, both in terms of the physical memory of taste and the emotional link to place and history” (40)
  • “emphasizing American analogues to recognizable British foods, the more important rhetorical task performed in The History of the Dividing Line concerns foods that would be unfamiliar to English readers, and Byrd goes to great lengths to make these foods appetizing.” (42)
  • “Because of the belief that eating too much meat had the capacity to impart bestial characteristics to the consumer, eating animals that ate other animals was seen as being particularly dangerous” (44)
  • Byrd recommends “glue broth (the “essence of meat”) and rockahominy (the “essence of bread”),” to prevent famine. (46)
  • Glue broth- broth of boiled meat turned into jelly from the gelatin in the broth, heavily reduced so it dries into squares (47)
  • Rockahominy- corn baked til a powder (47)
  • The goal of The Divided Line was to convince people that coming to the colonies would not compromise their British identity (relating to the food consumed) (48)
  • Byrd considered North Carolina to be the American lower class (48)
  • “Byrd’s depiction of the North Carolinians’ lazy reliance on natural abundance and Virginians’ proactive cultivation of the fertile landscape” (48) “The amount of labor personally performed by Byrd’s “lazy” North Carolinians and the aristocratic Virginians is not, then, the basis of distinction. Rather wealth and class, the markers of social rank,” (49)
  • “in The History of the Dividing Line, American foods offer no threat to their national sense of self. Rather, the “bounty of Providence” available along the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina offers a means of social- and self-improvement while maintaining the integrity of their English identity in America.” (51)

Nutrition training for chefs: Taste as an essential determinant of choice

  • Consumers choose food on the basis of taste (1418)
  • Americans are eating more meals outside of the house, in 1994 an estimated $275 billion spent on eating out (1419)
  • Increasing number of healthy snacks in a vending machine did not increase the sales (1419)
  • When a the healthiness and the flavor of an item was promoted it led to more sales then when just the health was promoted (1419)
  • Availability of healthier options is not enough to change the behavior of the consume (1419)

Increasing Nutrition Knowledge of Chinese American through a Culturally-Tailored Bento Box Workshop*

  • Eating behaviors evolve early, and is an important thing to establish in childhood and helps both physical and cognitive growth 
  • Diet quality is affected by socioeconomic status
  • The current nutrition education is sometimes not culturally relevant to immigrant families and may not be in their current spoken language
  • Tailoring nutrition education to one’s culture and taught in the easiest to understand language increases knowledge in nutrition

*small article, all information is in the same panel on one page

Effects of Food Neophobia, Familiarity, and Nutrition Information on Consumer Acceptance of Asian Menu Items

  • “Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai are all considered healthy, wholesome foods and are good sources of vegetables” “Increasing immigration, tourism, and international trade is creating a global village, one in which ethnicity plays an important role in the fusion of cultures and consumer behavior” (172)
  • Food neophobia- “a reluctance to eat and/or avoidance of new foods” (173)
  • Children are more likely to have high food neophobia scores, especially young ones (173)
  • Having knowledge of the new food and the new food having some familiar flavors made people more likely to try it (173)
  • The more well known a product is the more likely people are to purchase it (174)
  • “80% of consumers profess that nutrition labeling does influence their purchase intention” (174)
  • [there is] “higher intention to buy the product when favorable nutrition information or health claims” (175)
  • Most familiar asian dish in the study was teriyaki chicken, and the least was Thai green curry chicken (177)
  • “Participants prefer Chinese (74.3%) cuisine to Thai (15.3%), Japanese (10.3%), and Korean (0%) cuisines.” (177)
  • “results found subjects who had higher food neophobia were less familiar with novel food, and also ate unfamiliar food less frequently.” (180)
  • If a consumer is more familiar with the product they are more likely to purchase it (180)
  • “suggest that consumer purchase intention can be improved by increasing availability, adding familiar flavor and taste, and presenting the menu item in a familiar manner.” (181)
  • “subjects considered both familiar and unfamiliar menu items to be more nutritious and healthier when nutrition information was not provided than when nutrition information was provided” (182)

Analysing acculturation to sustainable food consumption behaviour in the social media through the lens of information diffusion

  • “acculturation entails the interaction of at least two cultures, aiding the process of adaptation and assimilation of the person to the values and standards of a new culture (1)
  • “However, with the emergence of Internet and increasing use of social media, migration is no longer a precondition for people to coalesce with people from other lifestyles, food habits, professions, political views, religiosities, ethnicities and ideologies.” (1)
  • “food is one of the important cultural attributes that humans start learning from childhood and resist to change their food habits at an older age” (2)
  • “that when consumers have a strong ethnic identity, they will be less acculturated to the new cultural environment compared to consumers whose ethnic identity is weak.” (2)
  • Acculturation- “those phenomena, which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups” “the dual process of cultural and psychological change that takes place as a result of contact between two or more cultural groups and their individual members” (2)
  • “Food habits are inculcated early in life and are perpetuated throughout the life because they are considered as symbolically meaningful behaviours for a given culture. Furthermore, food is considered as an important constituent that serves as a key expression of culture.” (3)
  • “With growing online users, the expansion of social contacts does not fall hostage to the boundaries of country, culture, food habits, ideologies or customs. In addition, the availability of information, new ideas, innovations and ideologies are not restricted to social contacts.” (9)

Cultural Immersion Experience: Promoting an Understanding of Mexican American Nutrition and Food Traditions

  • “the importance of cultural sensitivity in caring for Mexican-American families and the importance of traditional food.” (420)
  • “While teaching nutrition concepts to elementary school children with the majority of Hispanic children, I have started incorporating discussions of authentic Mexican dishes that are healthy and a direct representation of their culture.” (420)

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