Food, Culture & Society

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1552-8014 / 1751-7443
Published by: Informa UK Limited (10.1080)
Total articles ≅ 1,064
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Latest articles in this journal

, Alexis O’Callahan, Brandy M. Garrett-Kluthe
Published: 29 November 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-22;

This study explores the contemporary foodscape of Jersey City, New Jersey. Although Jersey City has a long history as a destination for immigrants from a wide range of countries, few studies exist concerning its rich array of ethnic foodways. Analysis of the diverse foodscape of Jersey City identifies risks to sovereignty such as the availability of culturally appropriate foods. The mixed methods research utilizes semi-structured surveys and freelists. The results demonstrate a strong, positive cognitive connection between immigrants and their traditional foodways, manifested in the popularity of fresh vegetables. Spatial representations of traditionally designated food deserts and the distribution of food stores suggest that the presence and roles of ethnic food stores should be more explicitly considered when constructing ideas about access to healthy food.
Published: 28 November 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-15;

This paper explores the social and symbolic meanings of recipes in the creation of community imagined online. Linking scholarship on the social relevance of recipes with research on food memories, identity, as well as research on memory in the digital age, I examine how internet users remember the German Democratic Republic (GDR) through recipes they post and discuss online on the two most popular German-based recipe sharing websites. My findings show that sharing and commenting on recipes is a form of collective identity labor through which Internet users create, negotiate and maintain symbolic boundaries between East and West Germany. Specifically, I identify key dynamics of how recipes – as vehicles of identity labor – perform collective GDR identity: negotiations about authenticity and collective affirmations of GDR identity which both serve as symbolic demarcations within a Western-centered reunified Germany.
Published: 23 November 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-16;

The Swedish school subject Home Economics (HE) covers complex content to do with cooking and sustainable development, but is allocated relatively few hours. I draw on observations of HE lessons and interviews with teachers to show how experiences of time poverty can be conceptualized as arrhythmia in relation to the requirements of the curriculum, scheduling, cultural expectations, and the unpredictable nature of student cooking. By viewing cooking and learning to cook as sets of rhythms, I illuminate the disjoint between the mathematical rhythms of scheduling and recipes on the one hand and the visceral rhythms of students and food on the other. As teachers struggle to translate the vague knowledge goals and linear progression of the syllabus into the cyclical rhythms of meal-centered lessons where cooking is organized as a group activity, they prioritize time-consuming recipes and cleaning over reasoning around sustainability, which may contribute to a feeling of not keeping up with the contents of the syllabus.
Published: 18 November 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-12;

While preparing and sharing food both at home and at special feasts remains a valued tradition among Armenians world-wide, the visible shedding of animal blood preceding its preparation does not. In the Republic of Armenia and around the Middle East, the ritual public slaughter of an animal remains common, whereas elsewhere in the diaspora, it is usually regarded as “backward.” Here the impact of these differences is explored through the ritual of madagh, often glossed in English as “sacrifice” and also as “community meal.” Madagh may be a community-wide celebration or a family-based ritual prepared with salt blessed by the priest and distributed to other households. Across regional variations, clergy and lay people negotiate the meaning of the ritual and collaborate on defining the experience and its importance. The madagh prompts a discussion of what is theologically correct and, beyond that, provides insights into deeply felt perceptions of relationships with God, connections to faith and religion as practiced at home as well as within the church. Based on research and fieldwork in Cyprus, Syria, Armenia, London, and the United States, this paper explores continuing practices of the madagh and the interpretations that emerge in conversation with those who participate.
, Attila Mucsi
Published: 16 November 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-21;

The majority of food- and culture-related studies of international students have focused on their consumption of specific ingredients or types of foods, or their attitude toward a local culture’s traditional cuisine. However, the cultural perspective remains under-researched, particularly regarding the cultural factors that influence this adjustment. By mitigating the experienced culture shock, these factors may lead to a higher level of adjustment to the local cuisine and, subsequently, to the local culture. Twenty semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with international students and analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis. Food specific aspects (fresh ingredients, processed foods, eating out) and socio-economic factors (available budget and prior intercultural experience) were included to the analysis. The novelty and contribution of this study is in separating the factors influencing the adjustment to local food and culture into two main categories. The passive factors, which were difficult or impossible to change during the study program, entailed four main themes that may support adjustment: socioeconomic background, food-related convictions, encountered positive word-of-mouth, and the contribution of the institution. The active factors, which could be controlled, also comprised four main themes: connection to the local culture (before moving abroad), immersion in the culture through food, experimenting with traditional food, and personal development.
Published: 15 October 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-22;

Per capita meat consumption in post-industrial countries is higher today than it has been ever since the transition of hunter-gathering to agriculture, while attitudes toward meat production and animal killing have become increasingly characterized by moral ambiguity and disgust. To contribute to our understanding of the genesis of this meat paradox, this study analyses how mid-nineteenth-century Belgian meat retailers constructed the image of their product. Analyzing 54 porcelain cards, uniquely early pictorial business cards used to advertise, shows how they constructed a very specific image of meat and its production process, an image in which meat itself was almost wholly absent. As shifts in the production process removed the animals behind the urban meat supply further and further from urbanites’ sight, meat retailers deliberately called upon images of idealized healthy living animals in profoundly natural settings. Reminders of the brutal production process were avoided at all costs. Rather, meat retailers sold the idea of meat consumption as intricately linked to a romanticized pastoral life, where animals lived free from human constraints or instrumentalization. This highly paradoxical “naturalisation” process, cutting out all human intervention in the production of meat, still serves to underpin important cultural aspects of the meat paradox today.
Published: 12 October 2021
Food, Culture & Society pp 1-29;

This paper follows sorghum, an indigenous, but currently underutilized, grain in South Africa, through six encounters to discover its potential to transform the country’s food system. By listening to stories from diverse perspectives, it shows that the re-inclusion of sorghum could not only diversify diets, but could also move toward breaking colonial stereotypes of what constitutes aspirational food. It employs a Follow the Thing method to unpack the multiple identities of sorghum and the role it could play in galvanizing a healthier, more diverse food system. By opening up to a radical following method that does not constrain the researcher, the underlying stories associated with sorghum are highlighted, which coincides with a shift in perception of the multiple potentialities that the crop embodies. The research highlights that a strong cultural link to sorghum remains in South Africa and that if innovation could be broadly interpreted, this might invigorate a richer engagement with sorghum, not just as a commodity, but as a culturally significant food.
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