What FoodAnthropology Is Reading Now, June 17 Edition

We have a global and eclectic collection of readings for you this week, with a lot of hidden treasures among the links. See below. If you are inspired by food and nutrition related items you find, please send them to us at either dberiss@gmail.com or LaurenRMoore@uky.edu.

What is the market for religiously sanctioned foods? The French daily Le Monde reports on the growth of the halal meat market in that country. Anthropologist Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, author of a book on halal practices, notes that French companies started exporting halal meat to Muslim countries decades ago. Today halal meat may be a 5.5 billion Euro market, sold in both specialized butcher shops and big supermarket chains. The article is in French.

Historian and food activist Michael Twitty responds to queries about the intersection of sexuality, faith, race, and food activism in this blog article: “There is a dialogue in the world of food about homophobia in the industry kitchen and little whispers about queerness and food—but what happens when you sit at the crossroads of gayness, Blackness, and faith and do this sort of work?

A nice little video in which an organic seed rants in a foul mouthed way about big ag, chemicals, GMOs, and other aspects of our food system. Fun, with poop jokes.

From the website “The New Food Economy,” a series of articles devoted to considering the impact of Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” ten years after it was first published. This includes a timeline of what they think of as milestones in “the new food economy,” commentary from luminaries from many corners of the food activist world, and more. Curiously U.S. centric – it would be interesting to see what something equivalent with a global viewpoint might look like. There are alternative views of the timeline proposed in the series, including this one from the Small Planet Institute and this one from Brad Wilson, farm activist and blogger at FamilyFarmJustice.

This two part series in Sapiens by Karen Coates starts with a food diary from her work with a bomb clearance team in Laos, a country with a stunning amount of unexploded ordinance left over from the U.S. war in that region. The food the team prepared and ate while working there reflects the problematic local food economy and ecology, related to the history of war, the global trade in endangered species, and poverty. Useful ethnography with potential to set off great classroom policy discussions.

The seafood industry raises additional global issues. In this article, the author examines the exploitation of workers in that industry in sites ranging from Southeast Asia to Louisiana. She also documents efforts to organize workers and police the conditions in which they work. Meanwhile, fishers in Louisiana struggle to make a living in a context in which they are challenged by the global trade in seafood, disaster, weak U.S. regulation of imported seafood, and other issues, as explored in this excellent article by Michael Stein.

The Southern Foodways Alliance podcast Gravy recounts the strange phenomenon of Jubilee, in Alabama’s Mobile Bay. Why do thousands of fish, shrimp, crabs, eels, and more suddenly fling themselves on the shore in the middle of the night? Strange and true stories from the Gulf Coast.

In this short (around 9 minutes) documentary, Sol Friedman interviews a very philosophical ninety-year-old Jewish woman whose faith has been shattered by Google, among other things and who, as a consequence, decides for the first time in her life to try bacon. But not before considerations of faith, reason, family history, and the potential for God’s wrath.

After you consider all this, you are probably getting anxious about publishing your own research. Emily Contois has just published a very helpful guide to food studies journals on her blog. Get those articles submitted!

1 Comment

Filed under anthropology, anthropology of food

One response to “What FoodAnthropology Is Reading Now, June 17 Edition

  1. Forgive me hijacking your post, but for anyone interested in hearing Karen Coates talking about her time in Laos, here’s a link to an interview I did with her: http://www.eatthispodcast.com/food-and-bombs-in-laos/

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