Brian Stross                  Anthropology 393                 Spring 2014



Unique # 31930 (ANT 393),  [#   (LAS 391)]       TH  400  to  700p    SAC  4.116


Office Hours   B. Stross Office Hours  T TH 12:30-1:30  & appt. SAC 4.124




Goals - The goals of this course are to introduce graduate students to the study of

food from an anthropological and communication perspective and to foster the

development of  investigative and analytic skills (through fieldwork, data collection,

analysis and writing) in presenting information to colleagues, as well as to develop in

the student an appreciation for linguistic anthropological approaches to the study of



Description  -   This course is a graduate level introduction to topics in the study of

food from a linguistic anthropological perspective, paying major attention to the roles

of communication in general and language in particular in the acquisition, perception,

forms, and functioning of food practices.  


Language is one criterion generally conceded to be uniquely human, as is the cooking

of food, and both appear to have pushed the evolution of humans towards their

current cognitive orientations and capacities.  This linkage is only one of many ways

in which food and language are interwoven, and the course will explore several others.


Food sustains us, giving meaning, order, and values to our lives; food practices

reflect  the symbolism in our ideological systems, often reflecting or reiterating

the structuring of our social systems.  Food and food practices play important roles

in our identity construction, our religious practices, and our socialization. 


Food practices can thus tell us a lot about the society in which they play a part.

Furthermore, foodways change both in the influencing and reflection of a society's

technology.  This course will investigate the facts that we communicate messages by

means of foods, as well as communicating about foods, that we communicate

frequently and much about foods, and that we can look at foodways to discern

cultural presuppositions used in communication. 


Topics explored in this course will include food preferences and taboos,

genetically modified food, fast foods, technology in food production (reproduction

[seed, egg, stock] growth, maintenance [weeding, feeding], harvest, packing,

storage), distribution, and consumption (preparation, eating, disposal), food and

energy utilization, conversation during the production, distribution, preparation,

consumption and  disposal of food, food as a topic of conversation, naming and

beliefs about foods, food metaphors, social structure in seating and eating, meals

and manners, food and education, food and religion, food and sex, food and identity,

food and power, food and forensics, food and the senses, food and the flow of time,

and maize in Mesoamerica. 


Because food and food practices engage with multiple symbolic systems in a society,

one goal of this course, conducted in a seminar format, will be to discern some of the

meanings that can be read into the language-like patterns to be found in the choices

and variations in what, when, where, and how people get food, share it, prepare it,

and eat it, as well as what, where, when, why, and how they talk about food in all of

these contexts.


This semester we will have three ethnographic projects, in which participants

will collect information on foods or food related information of interest and 

relevance to the course.



Grades will be assigned on the basis of class preparation and participation, and on the
written (approximately 7 pages each) and oral presentations of  the results of
three ethnographic exercises, as well as on keeping an up to date journal.   Each
week one (or two) of the participants will have volunteered to lead the discussion
of the assigned reading, by preparing notes on the reading assignment for the week
and questions for discussion.  



Texts: Required


            Counihan, Carole & Penny Van Esterik, eds.,   2007.   Food &

Culture: A Reader (second edition)  ISBN: 10: 0-415-97777-0


Marvin Harris.   1985.   Good to Eat.   ISBN 1-57766-015-3   (pb)




Topics -  This semester I am suggesting number of topics for discussion in trying to understand  the

complexity of the relationships among food, discourse, and culture and in trying to discover ways by

which careful observation of individual and group practices concerning food can give us useful or

important information about "culture" and about  "psychology", and particularly about communication

and classification.   


Come to class prepared to discuss the topics of the week (one person will take the role of facilitator

each week, and will help facilitate the discussion both of the current topic and of the assigned



Notebook/Journal -   I would like all participants to keep a running record or journal of insights,

thoughts, and general notes about food and culture that occur in the course of the semester

(format & medium up to you).   Among other things you might want to put in the journal, recopied

and reorganized class notes, notes on films and on readings, insights about food that you might

get at various times, pictures relating to food, etc.   Each week I would like you to pick a food or

perhaps a class of foods and do a little research and write approximately a page on that particular

food, to be added to the journal.  I hope to reserve a few minutes of each class for individuals to

report on interesting things they have put in their journal recently and relevant to the week's



Anthropology Question  -  For each topic discussed it will be useful to keep in mind a broader

question about the anthropology of food.   One can ask oneself: What does this information

about the use and relationship of food to the various forms of human endeavor tell us about

the peoples involved, about people in general, and about the anthropological topics broached?   

What does it tell us about variation (diversity), about functions, about correlations, about

history, and about adaptation; and always, what is its "meaning" or "significance" or “symbolic




Week 1     January 16        

               Introduction:  scope of the course, food, discourse, thought, symbolism,

   Ethnography, seeing the other, evidence and interpretation, food and the future

               ((short video on spices of life – Garlic))

   Homework: (due for meeting week 2)

               Counihan  Introduction; K. Bassie  

   "Corn Deities and the Complementary Male/Female Principle" come to Class

   of Week 2 prepared to discuss the reading and to discuss "seeing the other"

   (the link above).

               Optional: "Oil in your Food",  Food Miles 


Week 2     January 23              

   MAIZE IN MESOAMERICA:  production [planting, harvest, packing],

   distribution [storage, transport], preparation, consumption, and disposal

   of maize - discourse, work cycles, aesthetic enterprises, nutrition, etc.

               ((short video on spices of life- Chili peppers))

               Homework: (due for meeting week 3)  Read Harris, Ch 1, 2;  Counihan

               Ch. 2 (Barthes – Toward a Psychosociology),  Counihan Ch. 3 (Culinary

               Triangle).   (Watch “Smell & Taste” Here)

   Optional Further Reading: (Flavio Rojas Lima 1988.  La Cultura del Maiz en

    Guatemala.;   Taube, Karl   1985.  "The Classic Maya Maize God:  A Reappraisal."  in

    V.M. Fields and M.G. Robertson (eds.) Fifth Palenque Round Table, 1983, Vol. VII. 

    San Francisco:  Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, pp. 171-182;  Karl Taube 1996. 

    The Olmec maize god:  the face of corn in formative Mesoamerica.  RES: Anthropology

    and Aesthetics  29/30;  González, Roberto J.   2001.  Zapotec Science:  Farming and Food

    in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca.  University of Texas Press.  Brian Stross 1994" Maize

    and fish: the iconography of power in late formative Mesoamerica."  RES: Anthropology

    and Aesthetics  29/30;  Brian Stross 1992, "Maize and Blood:  Mesoamerican Symbolism

    on an Olmec Vase and a Maya Plate."  RES: Anthropologyand Aesthetics  22.    B.

    Fussell  1999.  Story of Corn;   J. Staller et al.  Histories of Maize:  Multidisciplinary

    Approaches to the Prehistory, Linguistics, Biogeography, Domestication, and Evolution

    of Maize (Zea Mays L.),   (abbreviated version reprinted as; Histories of Maize in

    Mesoamerica:  Multidisciplinary Approaches,San Francisco: Left Coast Press. 

    J. Staller 2009.  Maize Cobs and Cultures: History of Zea mays L.


Week 3    January 30      

   FOOD PREFERENCES AND TABOOS (snakes, cannibalism, snails, edible bugs

   dogs, chili peppers,  yogurt,  famine foods) on the societal and individual

   levels.  A society's food preferences and taboos (what is implied about that

   society's experiences (history), perceptions, beliefs, boundaries, classification

   systems, needs, adaptive strategies, etc.)

   An individual's food preferences and taboos (what does it say about that

   individual's experiences, personality, etc.).

   FOOD AND FORENSICS   (e.g. the palo verde pod in the pickup truck –

   DNA in a Phoenix murder trial;   coprolite analysis to see what people ate,

   and to see if they were cannibals;  Hussein's dates (or) and drying sausage; maize

   in jar in tomb at Apatzingan;  chocolate in vessel at Rio Azul, Guatemala)

   ((short video on food preferences and taboos  NGS)) (Spices)

               Homework:  (due for meeting in Week 4) Read; Harris

Ch. 3; Counihan Ch. 7 (Goody – Recipe, Prescription, Experiment),

Counihan Ch. 8 (Mintz – Sugar & Sweetness)


Week 4     February 6       

   FOOD DISCOURSES:  Conversation during and/or about food practices,

   including production (supply),  distribution, preparation, cooking, serving

   and/or consumption. 

   Food Security, Food Justice, Food Sovereignty  (food justice a mission statement)

   Meat vs vegetarian diet discourses ( meatrix , Ben Fuchs) (10 worst foods)

   (super foods) (egg farming – "Silent Suffering" ;    Meat: People & Chickens)

   Sustainability discourses  (e.g.  Solar Cooker,  Dervaes 3,  Dervaes 4,

   S. Jones 1; Cuba or 2)

   The old vs the new (slow food vs fast food) – Rachel Laudan’s Plea for Culinary Modernism

   or link w/ comments    Molecular Gastronomy and Food Chemistry

   Diet (e.g. Salt, Fat & Sugar,  )

   Planting prayers, harvesting rituals and sayings, saying grace, to your health,

   complimenting the cook, asking for seconds, offering food,  toasting, 

   urban legends (such as "live monkey brains").

   Classification of forms and contexts;  functions of the discourses

   in each context (Planting and harvesting, cooking and serving, fasting and



               Food related linguistic routines -  saying grace, toasting (and related

"to your health" routines), blessing the seeds, prayers for planting and harvest,            

               (short video on cannibalism  -  discourse on that topic)

               FOOD JOKES The character and incidence of jokes about food can reveal

   much about how food is thought of in the society, about social stresses

   concerning food, and about the nature and use of stereotypes in the society

   (cf. kids food jokes,  food jokes w/ ratings,

   user rated, more kids food jokes, visual, litterbox cake).

   Homework:  (due meeting in week 5)  Read Harris Ch.4;

                   Ch. III Food in Newari Culture

                   ( )


Week 5      February 13     


   and associated constructs (Categorization of kinds of food, kinds of eating; 

   kinds of food  (e.g.  fruits, vegetables, or meat;  carbs, fat, or protein;  red

   meat, white meat, or fish), (1, 3)

   kinds of food preparation (roasting, boiling, smoking), hot and cold foods)

               ((short video on the food quest in biological perspective – D. Morris The

   Hunting Ape - look for classification, naming here))

   Homework:  (due for meeting in Week 6)  Harris Ch. 5;  

  Counihan Ch. 3, 26;  and Bays & MowBray (Cookies, Gift Giving, &

   the Internet);  and come to class with a list of food metaphors to share,

   a list of food symbols and their meanings, and some thoughts on rituals

   in which foods are prominent. 

   Optional:   (Evon Z. Vogt  1976.  Tortillas for the Gods – Skim to

   get a sense for the parts played by foods in Tzotzil Maya ritual life;

   Visser Ch. 4)


Week 6     February 20     

   FOOD METAPHORS (he's a nut;  piña, chayote, mango;  chile, nuts;  that's

   corny; he brings home the bacon;  that's a lot of bread to get from the bank;

   callaloo or tossed salad;  internet cookies (+ applets, java script;);  food in novels;  

   food in films,  food in popular song; 

   What are the bases for such metaphors, what purposes do they serve, and

   how do they influence perceptions in the process of social reproduction. 

               (cf. e.g. G. Lakoff and M. Johnson, Metaphors We Live By;  G. Lakoff, Women, Fire,

                    and Dangerous Things; G. Lakoff and M. Johnson,  Philosophy in the Flesh: 

    The Embodied Mind & Its Challenge to Western Thought.   Christine Ammer, Fruitcakes

    And Couch Potatoes); Internet food metaphors,  

   FOOD SYMBOLISM  (tamale = human body, tortilla = ?, melon = ?,

   maize ear = head, wine = Christ's blood, wafer [host] = Christ's

   flesh), throwing rice = ? .   (Amber’s chapter)

   What are the bases for such symbols, what purposes do they serve, and how

   do they inform us concerning a society's history, interests, and adaptive

   strategies; food symbol and society;  food in dreams;  passover symbolism;

   easter food  2; 

               ((short video on animals getting food from plants -  Trials of Life: Finding


               FOOD RITUALS AND RITUAL FOODS  (where the symbolism often

   becomes explicit); ceremony and ritual (eating out; saying grace, washing

   hands, brushing teeth,drinking coffee, having tea);

               life crisis rituals (e.g. birth, marriage, death ) (bread, chocolate,


               Homework:  (due for Week 7)  Counihan Ch. 12, 14, 17;  Harris Ch. 6

               1st project due this week


Week 7    February 27        

               SOCIAL STRUCTURE    In the time and place of food production, food

   distribution, food preparation, and food consumption (e.g. seating locations,

   who eats first, who does the planting, who does the gathering, who does the

   hunting, who cooks the staples, how is food transported from place of

   production to place of consumption; what meals are eaten when; eating out,

   eating in; who you can eat with – e.g. who you can eat with is defined by caste

   in India).

   MEALS AND MANNERS  table manners (using knife fork and spoon; cat;

   continental vs American style  V 138-241) (belching to show appreciation

   of food V 297-358)

   (topics of conversation – eg.  usually dinner conversation doesn't include

   bathroom habits, but children often find ways to get into such topics - 

   V 262-272)

               ((short video on spices of life – Cloves  or The Meaning of Food 1: Food

and Life))

               Homework:(due week 8) Counihan Ch.  4, 10, 15 ;  Harris Ch. 7; 



Week 8    March 6       

   FOOD AND RELIGION     feast, festival,   fast, forbidden

   Food for the Gods  (e.g. chocolate, incense [e.g. copal ], candle;  food

   sacrificed to the gods), 

   food and drink in the wafer and the wine – the bread of life;

   sacrifice of only perfect specimens; the holy meal.)

               Food in this Life - 

               How to kill  (halal and kosher),

               Blessing the meal

               Harvest festivals  (Id Al-Fitr,  Seder,  Holy Communion )

   (Religious vs. secular holydays and festivities:  where is the dividing line? 

   Thanksgiving,  Mardi Gras,  Halloween) 

               Food in the afterlife  (food for the soul, food on the journey)

               Stothert_Feeding Living & Dead (Stross_This World & Beyond [Blackboard])

               ((short video on spices of life – Saffron  or

   The Meaning of Food 2: Food and Culture))

               Homework:  (due for week 9)  Read Counihan 22, 30;  Harris Ch. 8 ;

                               Read on the web: Food & Seduction  by Robin Fox

   Optional: (Consuming Passions Ch. 7) C&V Ch. 14, 16, 17, 18  ;  


Week 9      March 20       

   FOOD, GENDER, SEX, and CHILDBIRTH    Food, gendered and

   sexual.   (metaphors linking food and sex [and gender], 

   beliefs about food and gender [production, distribution, preparation,

   consumption], food facilitators and inhibitors of sexuality; gender related

   eating problems [anorexia, bulimia]; pregnancy cravings; geophagy); food

   taboos for new mother.  

               ((short video on spices of life – Allspice   or

   The Meaning of Food 3: Food and Family))

               Homework: (due week 10) Counihan 18, 19, 21;  Harris Ch. 9;

   R. Wilk, "'Real Belizean food': building local identity in the transnational

    Caribbean" in American Anthropologist, vol. 101 (June 1999), pp. 244–255.  

   (if you are using the first edition of Counihan [& Van Estrerik]) 


Week 10      March 27          

   FOOD AND IDENTITY   Strategies for manipulating identity (of self

   and of other) through food and discourse on food.  (Cancuqueros are

   known to eat snakes", "The Mixe claim to be cannibals", "I like Chinese

   food"; "I love pizza";  French "Frogs"  and German "Krauts");   

   rituals of identification  (ethnicity and/or ethnicities – that one identifies

   with - by means of food;  locale one identifies with -  of origin or growing

   up - by means of food; time/era/decade one identifies with - of birth or

   growing up - by means of food ["We used to have fresh pumpernickel from

   these little bakeries", "I remember when they rationed chocolate/sold Kanana

   banana flakes"]; social class one identifies with -  ["I remember trying to drink

   the water from the fingerbowl", "I used to love roast possum";  "I'd like to just

   sit around and eat caviar].  Ethnic origins can be apparent when looking

   around someone's kitchen;

               Religious affiliations/identity in food (e.g. Muslims and Jews – no pork; Hindus

               no beef);  Where you buy your food shows your politics.

   Doing it yourself: (growing your own food;  preparing a meal from

   scratch – connecting with tradition, appreciating the activities, "getting your

   hands dirty")

   FOOD AND MEMORY   Aromas bring back memories, and food scents

   provide some of the strongest memories.   Earlier identities and memories are

   often are tied up with meals and the foods they are composed of (cf. last suppers).  

   Memories of travel often include memories of special foods and meals encountered.

               ((short video on spices of life – Nutmeg   or   Food for the Ancestors))

   Homework:  (due week 11)  Counihan Ch. 33, 34, 35 ; Harris Ch. 10;

   2nd project due this week


Week 11    April 3          

   FOOD AND POWER  (giving, receiving, and refusing food;  food

   sharing/ commensalism;   genetically engineered food plants [golden rice1,

   biotech corn]; globalization;  food and politics  2   3;  dieting; ) 

   food production – power in control of irrigation system;  power in control

   of food plants and land;

   distribution  - power in control of how food gets distributed and stored; 

               food preparation – power in control of the preparation of foods

   (specialized knowledge among other things, the power to poison); 

   another kind of power (food needs lead to big brother); 

   food consumption – power in control of who eats, when and where. 

   Conspicuous consumption; public giving away of food;  Display of food

   staple in/on ruler's attire or body (says  the ruler is the nurturer of his people,

   and the food is thus a symbol of power); control by hunger strike (refusing

   to eat).

               Food is chemically transformed in the body yielding calories through

   digestion and other processes characterized by chemical reactions.  

   This energy constitutes another form of power (energetic, caloric).  

   Some foods are in this sense more powerful than others.

   FOOD AND WAR  -  The relationship of war to food production, distribution,

   and consumption.  Food for troops (rations) and for those left behind

   (rationing).   sieges, distributing food packets & cluster bombs in Afghanistan. 

   wars fought for food, and food fights (top 5).   Manipulation of food and food

   references in time of war (e.g. French fries become "freedom fries" by an act

   of Congress, March 2003)

               ((short video on spices of life – Pepper   or    ½ of Future of Food))

   Homework:  (due week 12)  Counihan Ch. 24, 25, 32;  Harris Ch. 11;

   handout to be distributed in class if available

               Further Reading:  Frances Moore Lappe, Diet for a Small Planet (1971);

                                         F. William Engdahl.   Seeds of Destruction (2007)


Week  12    April 10      

   FOOD AND TIME [time as duration, as non-repeating sequence (of events),

   as order  (w/in a cycle),  and as frequency  (all based on two experiential facts

   1. certain natural phenomena repeat themselves (repetition), 2. life change

                   is irreversible (non-repetition)].

   Cycles by which food crops or gathered food plants organize the activities of

   the year; (and cycles of  food crop pests that also affect planting, and


   Times of  food preparation, time it takes to prepare meals, special meals; 

               Fast food (why, how does it work, what are its

                   consequences?) (Future Food Fabrication with home “printer”)

   the slow food movement;

   Cycles of  food consumption that organize the day;  cycles of food

                   consumption that reflect other cycles of time, like the month, the year,

                   or the decade;

   Famine foods for times of famine.

   Time duration for abstinence from certain foods for ritual purposes;

   Time duration following eating before swimming, sex, other activities;

               Food Preservation   (links to preservatives and other additives)

               ((short video on spices of life – Herbs  or   ½ of Future of food))

               FOOD POLITICS   responsible decisions about eating; food miles / locavores;

               GM foods ;  labeling food (what to label);  vegan , vegetarian, omnivore, meat

               lover;  pesticide use ; the meaning and politics of organic.  (cf. McWilliams Just Food)

   Homework:  (due week 13)  Counihan Ch. 23, 36, 31, ;  

   Messer, Ellen.  1984, Anthropological perspectives on diet.  Annual Review

   of Anthropology 13:205-49) [look in library's electronic journals]:


Week 13      April 17        

   FOOD AND NUTRITION   (vitamins, minerals, salt in foods, maize and lime

   and protein, msg, genetically engineered foods, entomophagy) diets and dieting,

   animal protein & cancer (YouTube version), one view of politics & nutrition

   diet & history.  Synthetic vitamins

               ((short video on spices of life – Spices of India or Mustard))

               Further Reading:  Bryant et al, The Cultural Feast. 

   FOOD AND MEDICINE  (tofu and menopause - estrogen production,

   almonds and cancer cures [vit. B17], fiber and intestinal health; Pharmacist Ben

   (hot and cold foods), (food allergies), (food intolerance)

               foods in ethnomedicine 

   Homework:  (due week 14)  Counihan Ch. 27, 28,  view Ben Fuchs w/

   Aaron Dykes – the first two YouTube videos (on 3 chapters of nutrition), at:  or

                  these two YouTube videos:!


    Further Reading: Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation – pp. 1- 193.  

   Messer, Ellen.  1984, Anthropological perspectives on dietAnnual Review

    of Anthropology 13:205-49) [look in library's electronic journals]:


Week 14      April 24        

   FOOD AND EDUCATION  (formal and informal)

   learning about life during food production and consumption

               learning about food during non-food experiences

               school and food (the cafeteria, catsup as a vegetable, food vending machines

   in school,  Coca Cola sponsoring Channel 1 in AISD)

   (one learns a lot around the "dinner table", learning about life while planting

   maize, shopping for food, or working in the kitchen)    

formal (and informal) education about food production and consumption

   ((short video on spices of life –curry))

               FOOD AND THE FUTURE    energy, fertilizer, and food production;

               Meat vs vegetarian food production costs and consumption costs;

   Grain vs. root  production and storage costs;  Sustainable Food / Permaculture

   Aquaponics ,  Fish Farm in Spain

               Homework: (due Week 15) 

               3rd project due this week 


Week 15       May 1         

   FOOD AND THE SENSES  (the smell of baking bread, living near the

   stockyards, a sprig of parsley on the plate, eating with the fingers, the sound

   of chewing, lip-smacking;  piquant chile burning the mouth)

               ((short video on spices of life – Peppercorns))

               Molecular Gastronomy (what happens on the molecular level when food

               is prepared).   Food Materials Science (the science and technology of materials

               involved in all aspects of food production and consumption).








Readers and other books: Optional

                    Anderson, E.N.  2005.  Everyone Eats.   ISBN  0-8147-0496-4  (pb)

      Barndt, Deborah  2002 or 2007 Tangled Routes: Women, Work, and

                                        Globalization on the Tomato Trail.   2007 ISBN-10: 0742555577,

                               2002 or ISBN-10: 0847699498  pb 

               Christie, Maria Elisa  2008.  Kitchenspace: Women, Fiestas, and Everyday

                               Life in Central Mexico.  ISBN 978-0-292-71794-7

                    Counihan, Carole & Penny Van Esterik, eds.,   1998.   Food &

       Culture: A Reader. ISBN: 0-415-91709-3   (first edition

       of the textbook)

   Nabhan, Gary  2004.    Why Some Like it Hot.   Island Press      

       ISBN  1-59726-091-6   (pb)

                    Plotnicov, Leonard and R. Scaglion.  1999.   The Globalization of Food. 

Waveland Press.

               Peter Farb and George Armelagos. 1980.  Consuming Passions:

       The Anthropology of Eating.    (out of print, but useful read)

               Counihan, Carole M.   1999.  The Anthropology of Food and Body:  

       Gender, Meaning, and Power.

               F. William Engdahl.   Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda

                               of Genetic Manipulation    (on GMOs)

   Bryant, Carol, DeWalt, Kathleen, Courtney, Anita and Jeffrey Schwartz. 

       2003.  The Cultural Feast (2nd ed.)

   Visser, Margaret.  1991.  The Rituals of Dinner .   ISBN 0-00-637909-5

       (now out of print but very useful and informative)

               Robbins, John  2001.  The Food Revolution.   ISBN: 1-57324-702-2

               Kahn, Miriam. 1986.   Always Hungry, Never Greedy: Food and the

       Expression of Gender in a Melanesian Society. 

   Schlosser, Eric.  2001.  Fast Food Nation   

   López, Ann Aurelia  2007.  The Farmworkers’ Journey.  

   Striffler, Steve   2005.    Chicken:  The Dangerous Transformation of

       America's Favorite Food.  

               Harris, Marvin   1977.  Cannibals and Kings.    ISBN  0-394-72700-2

               Weismantel, Mary J.  1988.  Food, Gender, and Poverty in

       the Ecuadorian Andes.  ISBN  1-57766-029-3

               Macbeth, Helen M.  1997.  Food Preferences and Taste:  Continuity and

               Change.  ISBN 1-57181-958-4



Glossaries and Timelines    glossary of food & cooking terms   cooking terms     food conversions     maya foods  food timeline





The Spice of Life Series – traces the history of spices and herbs over the centuries

and into present day kitchens. (popular and dated, but fun and interesting)


Allspice, One Spice

Chilies: a Dash of Daring,                   

Cinnamon, the Elegant Addition

Cloves: Natures Little Nails

Curry Around the World

Garlic's Pungent Presence

Herbs: Aromatic Influences

Mustard, the Spice of Nations

Nutmeg, Nature's Perfect Package

Pepper, the Master Spice

Peppercorns, Fresh Ground Flavor

Saffron, Autumn Gold

The Spices of India    


             Sustainability   ever growing series of videos on food, energy, permaculture…



More Food Videos:



Street Food

               Cairo 1

               Cairo 2


               Zanzibar 1

               Zanzibar 2


               Montreal 1

               Montreal 2


               Nairobi 1

               Nairobi 2


               Mumbai 1

               Mumbai 2


Gourmet’s Diary of  a Foodie

               1 Chilies

               2. Slow Food - Australia

               3  Anatomy of a Meal - Spain

               4  Food Inventors]

               5  Home Cooking - Italy

               6  China


Food and the City  Ted   Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are 
served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily 
miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.


Eating habits & obesity   Ted


Films Concerning Food


Solar Cooking Videos       Kevin Contreras      Parabolic Reflector Sun Cooker       Engineers w/o B

                                              Solar Cookers Compared        


Fast Food Women     UT Audio Visual Library    VIDCASS 3765        29 minutes  1991





Another Bibliography   detailed, excellent, on the web, recently updated -  Robert Dirks



Journals -      Food & Foodways: Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment.   


                    AFHVS Journal  -  (see below)    AFHVS Society


                    AOF   (Anthropology of Food)


                    Food Culture And Society         (author Guidelines)


                    Convivium Artium       Journal on food representation in the arts


                    Gastronomica    Journal o food and culture



Websites      Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS)    Publications


    Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS)


                    CSFC – Critical Studies in Food and Culture Blogspot


                    SAFN  (Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition)


                    Research guide on Gastronomy


                    Natural News – Mike Adams


    Case studies on Food Policy in Developing Countries


                    Hidden Kitchens    NPR series on hidden kitchens, kitchen pioneers and food rituals


                    The Sociology of Food   -  many web links on this subject can be found here


                    Research Center for the History of Food and Drink  -


                    Resources for the Anthropological Study of Food Habits    Illinois State University


                    International FoodWorks -  Austin's own Ken Rubin, also hosting Foodways Group of Austin


                    Internation Commission on the Anthropology of Food


                    The Global Gastronomer – Cuisines of the World


                    World Cuisines -  Links and Searches restricted to the topic: from Google


                    Local and Localized Food


                    Ryerson's Centre for Studies in Food Security    a Canadian research center dealing w/ food safety


                    Social Issues Research Centre      has anthropological series on food and eating by Robin Fox


                    Edible Ornamental Plants   -


                    Edible Communities   magazines celebrating local foods, season by season     Edible Austin  


                    Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages  -  117 spices, names, history, chemistry


                    Cooking Science     Science behind food and cooking in the kitchen


                    Molecular Gastronomy      the chemistry of food and cooking     Wikipedia article


                    Food First   Institute for food and development policy


                    Truth in Food     Read carefully and question everything.  


                    Food Museum


                    Food Tropes


                    Food, Ritual & Society     online study of Newars of Nepal,  by Per Löwdin ‘


                    Cooking Issues




                    Edible Austin


                    Slow Food Austin



Blogs           SAFN Blog    (Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition)


                    Food Studies    Now FSP


                    When Dad Cooks


                    Food Studies Project   UT Austin


                    Food Blog   Food Museum


                    Food Historian’s Blog   Rachel Laudan


                    David Lebovitz  


                    Ken Albala


                    Dissertation to Dirt


                    Rancho Gordo


                    Brittany Smith's Page    UT Graduate



Radio Shows    The Splendid Table  (KUT-FM)    Download Podcasts



Conferences & Sessions                      

                                                              Eating and Empire in the Victorian Period


                                                             Crossing Borders


                                                             Sustainable Food