“This Sweet Potato is Beautiful.” From Ethnoagronomy to Ethnogastronomy in the work of Virginia Nazarea

Lima, 2015. At the Mistura, an annual food festival in Peru wherein people from the desert, the Andes, and the coast bring their produce and artisanal products to Lima for days of festivities and commemoration. Photo: Virginia Nazarea.

David Sutton

In the current installment of the SAFN interviews on the origins and development of Food Anthropology, I sit down with Virginia Nazarea to talk about her 4-decades of work on crop biodiversity, the senses and different kinds of plant species conservation: Ex Situ, In Situ and Trans Situ. We discuss how her approach moved from cognitive approaches to agricultural decision making to incorporate approaches to sensory and embodied experience as she recognized the importance of cooking and eating food to ideas about growing food, and the wide diversity and contextual nature of evaluation criteria, including taste, smell and “beauty.”  Enjoy!

This interview is part of SAFN’s ongoing series of interviews with food anthropologists.

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