Category Archives: Food Studies

Applied Food and Nutrition Research, SfAA 2017

Amanda Green
Davidson College

The 2017 Society for Applied Anthropology meeting (March 28-April 1) in Santa Fe has shaped up to be an incredible showcase of food-related research. In particular, I want to draw your attention to six panels which take place on Tuesday and feature foodways of New Mexico and the Southwest, with topics ranging from markets, food hubs, and community gardens to Native American seed saving and agriculture of the Southwest. If you can’t make it by Tuesday, don’t worry. Thursday and Friday feature a food, agriculture, or fisheries panel during every session.

On Thursday at 10 am, my own session will discuss the contradictions and complements of movements for food sovereignty, food revitalization and food entrepreneurship. Our panelists will present case studies that capture the interlaced trails of food organizing in ways that make visible the interconnectedness and contradiction of their goals. These include bison ranching in Montana (van Winkle), global palm oil production (Elder), commerce and activism in Italy (Counihan), organic agriculture in Croatia (Orlić), reindeer herding in Swedish Sápmi (Green), and commentary from discussant Ellen Messer. (Session title: Complementary / Contradictory Directions: The Interlaced Trails of Food Entrepreneurship, Food Sovereignty and Food Revitalization Movements)

We’d love to highlight the work of SAFN members, so let us know about your sessions and papers. In case we missed your panel or presentation and you’d like your panel or presentation to be included in our PDF, please email Amanda Green at  amagreen@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you in Santa Fe.

The full conference program is here. Panels dedicated to food or agriculture themes listed by date include:

(T-31) TUESDAY 10:00-11:50 Ballroom South (La Fonda) Red or Green: From Market to Table

CHAIR: BEISWENGER, Lisa (OH State U) BEISWENGER, Lisa and COHEN, Jeffrey H. (OH State U) Tradition and Change at a Public Market KEIBLER, Christina (NMFMA) New Mexico Farmers’ Markets: New Directions with an Eye towards Tradition SANCHEZ, Stephanie M. (UNM) Los Jardines Institute and Sanchez Farms: Growing Food Sovereignty in the South Valley of New Mexico MUSUMECI, Salvatore (Catawba Coll) Green, Red, or Christmas: Sustaining a Culinary Identity in a City Rich in Culinary Tradition

(T-34) TUESDAY 10:00-11:50 La Terraza (La Fonda) Ancient and Modern Farming and Food in the Southwest

CHAIR: MAXWELL, Timothy D. (Museum of NM) FORD, Richard I. (U Mich LSA Museum) PreSpanish Contact Agricultural Methods in the Eastern Pueblos SANDOR, Jonathan A. (Iowa State U) Soil Management and Condition in Pueblo Agriculture MAXWELL, Timothy D. (Museum of NM) Making It as an Ancient Farmer in the Semi-Arid Southwest MCBRIDE, Pamela (Museum of NM) The Origins of Agriculture in New Mexico SWENTZELL, Roxanne (Santa Clara Pueblo) Pueblo Farming, Traditions and Food SWENTZELL, Porter (IAIA) The Pueblo Food Experience

(T-61) TUESDAY 12:00-1:20 Ballroom South (La Fonda) Food in New Mexico I: Native American Seedsaving and Gardens: Conserving Foodways and Identities in New Mexico

CHAIR: STANFORD, Lois (NMSU) PANELISTS: HILL, Christina (Iowa State U), JONES, Burrell (Middle San Juan Seed Bank), DESCHENIE, Desiree (Yego Gardening Proj), FISHER, Brittany (NMSU), BRASCOUPE, Clayton (TNAFA)

(T-91) TUESDAY 1:30-3:20 Ballroom South (La Fonda) Food in New Mexico II: Community Gardens in New Mexico and Arizona: Examining Local Projects to Establish Food Sovereignty and Food Justice

CHAIR: STANFORD, Lois (NMSU) PANELISTS: SANCHEZ, Stephan (UNM), GARCIA, Joe (Sanchez Farms), MARTINEZ, Sofia (UNM), DOMINGUEZ-ESHELMAN, Cristina and GARCIA, Manny (La Semilla Community Farm)

(T-108) TUESDAY 1:30-3:20 Meem (Drury) Food Systems and the Marine Environment in Local and Regional Food Systems of North America

CHAIRS: POE, Melissa (UW Sea Grant) and PINTO DA SILVA, Patricia (NOAA Fisheries) POE, Melissa and DONATUTO, Jamie (U WA Sea Grant, NOAA Fisheries) Food Sovereignty Programs as Adaptation Actions to Climate Change in Indigenous Communities Tied to Marine Systems INGLES, Palma (Coastal Perspectives Rrch) Feeding Families in Bush Alaska: Challenges of Obtaining Enough Fish to Meet Subsistence Needs in the Land of Plenty REGIS, Helen (LSU) and WALTON, Shana (Nicholls State U) You’re Not in Alaska Anymore: Toward a Community Definition of “Subsistence” in Coastal Louisiana PITCHON, Ana (SJSU) and HACKETT, Steven (Humboldt State U) Adaptation to Uncertainty in West Coast Fisheries SWEENEY TOOKES, Jennifer (Georgia Southern U) and YANDLE, Tracy (Emory U) ‘Because They Hurt and No One Wants to Eat Them!’: Understanding Caribbean Fishermen’s DecisionMaking Regarding Invasive Lionfish DISCUSSANT: PIN

(T-121) TUESDAY 3:30-5:20 Ballroom South (La Fonda) Food in New Mexico III: Community Food Projects and Food Hubs in New Mexico and Tuesday, March 28 9 Arizona: Examining Local Projects to Build Food Justice and Food Citizenship

CHAIRS: PAGE-REEVES, Janet (UNM) and STANFORD, Lois (NMSU) PANELISTS: JOHNSON, Danielle and POSNER, Xander (U Arizona), YANEZ, Catherine (La Semilla Food Ctr), LAMB, Jedrek (Agricultura Network, Albuquerque), ROMERO, Jeannie (Fiesta Grocery-Buying Club, Albuquerque), LOPEZ, Juan (First Choice Community Healthcare, Albquerque), KRAUSE, Carol (Fiesta Grocery-Buying Club, Albuquerque)

(T-126) TUESDAY 3:30-5:20 Stiha (La Fonda) Indigenous Culinary Traditions and Practices: Negotiating Foodways, Identity, and Culture

CHAIR: HEUER, Jacquelyn (NMSU) BOYERS, Janine (NMSU) Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Homegardens, and Migration in Yaxhachen, Yucatán, México CARDENAS OLEAS, Sumac Elisa (IA State U) Historically Ignored and Now Highly Demanded: The Quinoa Paradox HEUER, Jacquelyn (NMSU) Culture and Cuisine, Past and Present: Perceptions of Traditional Foodways among Indigenous Culinary Students KATZ, Esther (IRD) Indigenous Cuisine of the Rio Negro (Brazilian Amazon): Promoted or Despised? SERRATO, Claudia (UW) Ancestral Knowledge Systems & Decolonization: Nepantlerismo, Indigenous Culinary Art & Cuisine, and Ancestral Memory in Transit DISCUSSANT: FRANK, Lois (UNM)

(W-98) WEDNESDAY 1:30-3:20 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Heritage and Innovation: Intersections of Energy, Agriculture, and Ethics (C&A)

CHAIR: DURBIN, Trevor (U Wyoming) BESTERMAN-DAHAN, Karen, CHAVEZ, Margeaux, and NJOH, Eni (James A Haley VA) I Was Trained to Kill, Now I Am Learning to Grow Life”: Veterans Finding Purpose, Service and Connection through Agriculture CAPORUSSO, Jessica (York U) Razing Cane: Growing Energy Futures in a Colonial Present JANSSEN, Brandi (U Iowa) Closing the Loop: Ethics and Efficiency in Iowa’s Local Food System TARTER, Andrew (UF) Knock on Wood: Perception, Prediction, and Persistence of Charcoal Production in Haiti

(W-168) WEDNESDAY 5:30-7:20 Meem (Drury) Tools and Data to Support Fisheries Management

CHAIR: SPARKS, Kim (PSMFC) SPARKS, Kim and SANTOS, Anna N. (PSMFC), KASPERSKI, Steve (NOAA Fisheries), and HIMES-CORNELL, Amber (U Bretagne Occidentale/NOAA Fisheries) Groundtruthing Social Vulnerability Indices of Alaska Fishing Communities Wednesday, March 29 28 WIXOM, Tarra (UWF) Exploring the Social Impacts of the Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota (RS-IFQ) Program: Ten Years Later MATERA, Jaime (CSUCI) Assessing the Importance of Artisanal Fisher’s Diversified Livelihoods and Trust of Marine Resource Management Institutions in Providencia and Santa Catalina, Colombia BISWAL, Rajib and JOHNSON, Derek (U Manitoba) The Socioeconomic Dynamics of the Bag Net Fishery on the West Coast of Gujarat, India: From Food Scarcity to Food Security BROWN, Lillian (Indiana U) Where Do Fish Values Come From?

(TH-08) THURSDAY 8:00-9:50 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Issues of Indigenous Agricultural Systems and Food Sovereignty (C&A)

CHAIR: FRENCH, Melissa (OR State U) FRENCH, Melissa (OR State U) Cosmovisions and Farming: An Investigation of Conventional and Alternative Farmers’ Environmental Values along the Willamette River. LAFFERTY, Janna (FIU) “Local Food” Assemblages in a Settler Colonial State: Coast Salish Sovereignties, Nature, and Alternative Food Politics in Western Washington DIRA, Samuel (UWF) Cultural Resilience among Chabu Forager-Farmers in Southwestern Ethiopia.

(TH-38) THURSDAY 10:00-11:50 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Complementary/Contradictory Directions: The Interlaced Trails of Food Entrepreneurship, Food Sovereignty and Food Revitalization Movements (C&A)

CHAIR: GREEN, Amanda (Davidson Coll) GREEN, Amanda (Davidson Coll) Indigenous Double Binds in Sámi Food Entrepreneurship and Food Sovereignty VANWINKLE, Tony (U Oklahoma) From Tanka Bars to Ted’s Montana Grill: Appropriation, Revitalization, and the Cultural Politics of the Contemporary Bison Ranching Industry COUNIHAN, Carole (Millersville U) Commerce and Food Activism: Contradictions and Challenges ELDER, Laura (St Mary’s Coll) and SAPRA, Sonalini (St Martin’s Coll) Global Palm Oil & the Corporatization of Sustainability ORLIĆ, Olga (Inst for Anth Rsch-Croatia) Stimulating Organic Farming in Croatia: Community-Supported Agriculture in Istria vs. Regional Development Rural Policies in Dubrovnik MESSER, Ellen (Tufts/BU) Cultural Politics of Food Movements

(TH-68) THURSDAY 12:00-1:20 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Focusing on Food Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability of Indigenous Peoples during International Responses to Rapid Climate Change in the 21st Century: Holistic Approaches by the Task Force on World Food Problems (TFWFP) (C&A)

CHAIR: KATZ, Solomon (U Penn) MENCHER, Joan P. KATZ, Solomon (U Penn) New Approaches to Improve the Sustainability and Productivity of the Food System of Indigenous Peoples

(TH-98) THURSDAY 1:30-3:20 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Farmer Challenges and Strategies in U.S. Agriculture (C&A)

CHAIR: GIBSON, Jane W. (KU) GIBSON, Jane W. (KU) Precision Agriculture: Dystopic Vision or Utopian Future WISE, Jennifer (Purdue U) Agriculture and Industry: Food Security and Economic Livelihoods in the Midwestern United States FURMAN, Carrie (UGA) and BARTELS, Wendylin (UF) Process and Partnerships: Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation through Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement RISSING, Andrea (Emory U) Loving the Work Isn’t Enough: New Farmers Deciding to Quit in the Midwest COLLUM, Kourtney (COA) Adaptation and Cooperation in Agriculture: On-Farm Bee Conservation in the U.S. and Canada

(TH-128) THURSDAY 3:30-5:20 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Off-track: Fieldwork Evidence and Foodways Theories (C&A)

CHAIRS: DE LIMA, Ana Carolina B. and BASKIN, Feray Jacky (Indiana U) DE LIMA, Ana Carolina B. (Indiana U) Family Cash Transfers in the Rural Brazilian Amazon: Consequences to Diets and Health BASKIN, Feray (IU) Integration and the Role of Traditional Food at Cultural Events: A Case Study of Turkish Women in North-Eastern France MATTERN, Lindsey (Indiana U) Maternal Work and Infant Feeding Practices in the Context of Urbanization in Tamil Nadu, India

(TH-137) THURSDAY 3:30-5:20 Rivera B (Drury) Drug, Food, Medicine: Emerging Topics in the Anthropology of Consumption, Part II

CHAIRS: LEE, Juliet P. (PIRE) and GERBER, Elaine (Montclair State U) RAJTAR, Malgorzata (Adam Mickiewicz U) Is Cornstarch the Solution?: Dietary Treatment of LCHADD Patients JEROFKE, Linda (EOU) The Culture of Food Banks: The Story of an Eastern Oregon Food Bank LEE, Juliet P., PAGANO, Anna, RECARTE, Carlos, MOORE, Roland S., and GAIDUS, Andrew (PIRE), MAIR, Stina (U Pitt) Accessing Health in the Corner Store GERBER, Elaine (Montclair State U) Disabling Markets: Barriers to Healthy Eating for Disabled People in the US DISCUSSANT: EISENBERG, Merrill (U Arizona Emeritus)

(TH-158) THURSDAY 5:30-7:20 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Critical Analysis of Food Security, Food Justice and the Alternative Food Movement in the U.S. (C&A)

CHAIR: ROWE, Jeff (Wayne State U) ROWE, Jeff (Wayne State U) Food Justice as Right or Conferring Its Own Agency?: Retaining the Human Contribution to Food Justice Definitions LEWIS, Asaad V. (William & Mary Coll) An Institutional Analysis of Meaning and Inequality within the Alternative Food Movement WOLF, Meredith (William & Mary Coll) Labeling “Organic”: Social Movements, Branding and Reverse Stigma in Sustainable Food Production ANDREATTA, Susan (UNCG) Lessons Learned from Creating a Community Garden on a University Campus

(F-08) FRIDAY 8:00-9:50 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Good Intentions and Mis(sed)alignments in Expanding Food Access: Stories of Policy, Planning, and Markets (C&A)

CHAIR: MARKOWITZ, Lisa (U Louisville) TRAPP, Micah M. (U Memphis) Troubled Access at the Farmers’ Market: Resituating Nutrition Incentives within a Framework of Distribution MARKOWITZ, Lisa, ANGAL, Neha, LEVINE, Mariah, SIZEMORE, D.A., VALENTINE, Laura, and NOLTE, Beth (U Louisville) Farmers’ Market Promotion Program: A View from a Church Parking Lot in Kentucky STANFORD, Lois (NMSU) Mobile Farmers Markets: Bringing Fresh Food to Food Deserts along the US-Mexico Border OTHS, Kathryn and GROVES, Katy M. (U Alabama) All’s Well That Ends Well: How Alabama Farmers Marketers Last ‘Stand’ against Modernity was Finally Resolved GADHOKE, Preety and BRENTON, Barrett P. (St John’s U) Defining Food Insecurity in the U.S.: How Policy Rhetoric Impedes the Delivery of Food Assistance Programs and Its Impact on Public Health Nutrition Outreach

(F-45) FRIDAY 10:00-11:50 Chaco West (Inn at Loretto) Land, Water, and Agroecology: Strategies for Surviving and Reviving

CHAIR: FAUST, Betty (CICY) PALMER, Andie (U Alberta) Indigenous Water Rights in Western Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand ANDERSON-LAZO, AL and PICCIANO, Lorette (Rural Coalition) Agroecological Knowledges and Technologies of Rural Resilience in the Age of Extraction: Food, Land, and Water Rights in Community-Driven Development

(F-65) FRIDAY 12:00-1:20 Santa Fe (La Fonda) Ethnobotany, Food, and Identity

CHAIR: FOWLER, Emily E. (UIC) FOWLER, Emily E. (UIC) Traditional Maya Medical Practices, Ethnobotany, and Western Medicine GRIFFITH, Lauren and GRIFFITH, Cameron (TTU), CHO, Juan (Ixcacao) Agree-culture as Local Ecological Knowledge GAMWELL, Adam (Brandeis U) Culinary Catalysts and Scientific Shifts: Peruvian Quinoa in the Age of Genetics and Gastronomy

(F-98) FRIDAY 1:30-3:20 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Examining and Assessing the Impact of Food Insecurity (C&A)

CHAIR: KIHLSTROM, Laura (USF) KIHLSTROM, Laura (USF) Leaving the Past Behind: A Cross-Cultural Case Study on Food Insecurity, Nutritional Status and Stress among Ethiopians and Finns in Florida, U.S. BRANDT, Kelsey, GONZALES, Bethany, and BRUNSON, Emily K. (TX State U) Coping with Hunger and Stigma: An Examination of Food Insecurity in Hays County, TX CRAF, Chaleigh (TX State U) Narratives and Neoliberalism LONNEMAN, Michael (UGA) From Slavery to Wage Labor: Livelihood Change and Land Use Transitions in the U.S. Piedmont, 1850–1880

(F-130) FRIDAY 3:30-5:20 Tesuque Ballroom (Inn at Loretto) Infant Feeding Inequalities in the U.S.: Interdisciplinary Research in Applied Settings

CHAIRS: MILLER, Elizabeth M. and DEUBEL, Tara F. (USF) LOUIS-JACQUES, Adetola (USF) Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Breastfeeding and Implications for Maternal and Child Health Outcomes MILLER, Elizabeth M. (USF) Food Insecurity and Breastfeeding in the United States: An Anthropological Perspective HERNANDEZ, Ivonne (USF) One Step for a Hospital, Ten Steps for Women: African American Women’s Experiences in a Newly-Accredited BabyFriendly Hospital DEUBEL, Tara F. (USF) Supporting a Culture of Breastfeeding: African American Women’s Infant Feeding Practices

(F-158) FRIDAY 5:30-6:50 Acoma North (Inn at Loretto) Methods and Strategies for Addressing Food Insecurity (C&A)

CHAIR: HINRICHSEN, Megan (Monmouth Coll) HINRICHSEN, Megan (Monmouth Coll) Food Security, Childhood Malnutrition, and Educational Opportunities in Urban Ecuador: Applying Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Student Engagement to Complex Social Problems HUANG, Sarah (Purdue U) Urban Transnational Foodscapes: Exploring Methodological Challenges and Opportunities to Engage Immigrants and Refugees in Urban Food Programs D’INGEO, Dalila, GRAVLEE, Clarence, YOUNG, Alyson, and MCCARTY, Christopher (UF) Rethinking Food Security from Adolescents’ Perspective: A Mixed Method Study in Low Income African American Neighborhoods in Tallahassee, FL COLLINS, Cyleste C. (Cleveland State U), FISCHER, Rob (CWRU), and BARRETT, Kelly (Cleveland Botanical Garden) Planting, Weeding, Marketing and Interpersonal Growth: Teens’ Experiences with Urban Farming in Cleveland, Ohio

(S-97) SATURDAY 1:30-3:20 Exchange (La Fonda) Food, Water and the Struggle for Humanity

CHAIR: SYKES, Jaime D. (USF) LEE, Ramon K. (SUNY Albany) Artistic Vision: Artivism as a Historical Process in the Struggle for Humanity MCDONALD, Fiona P. (IUPUI/IAHI) Water in the Anthropocene MUME, Bertha (Katholieke U Leuven) Water Accessibility: Challenges and Prospects in the “Livanda Congo” Community – Limbe Cameroon VEROSTICK, Kirsten A., SYKES, Jaime D., and KIMMERLE, Erin H. (USF) Archaeology of Inequality: Breaking the Tradition at the Dozier School for Boys SYKES, Jaime D., VEROSTICK, Kirsten A., and KIMMERLE, Erin H. (USF) Inequality in Archaeology: Historical and Contemporary Issues

(S-104) SATURDAY 1:30-3:20 Chaco East (Inn at Loretto) Local Food Movements: Examining Food Access in Target Communities

CHAIR: PAPAVASILIOU, Faidra (GSU) PAPAVASILIOU, Faidra (GSU) and FURMAN, Carrie (U Georgia) From Local to Regional: The Role Food Hubs Can Play in the Reconfiguration of Local Food KING, Hilary (Emory U) Ensuring Healthy Food Gets Around: The Politics of Pairing Produce and Public Transportation GOSS, Jordan E. (U Memphis) Fruits, Vegetables, and Seafood, Oh My! What Will Memphians Buy?: A Comparative Study of Shopping Habits and Food Access in Two Memphis Census Tracts BAILY, Heather (CWRU), MONTEBAN, Madalena, FREEDMAN, Darcy, WALSH, Colleen, and MATLOCK, Kristen (Prev Rsch Ctr for Healthy Neighborhoods) Elucidating Social Network Strategies to Expand the Scope of Nutrition Education

(S-134) SATURDAY 3:30-5:20 Chaco East (Inn at Loretto) The Social and Cultural Life of Foods: Examining the Cultural Complexities and Transformation of Certain Foods

Chair: MABONDZO, Wilfried (U Montreal) MABONDZO, Wilfried (U Montreal) Consumption of the “Millet” in Hadjerian’s “Country”: At the Center of Social Assistance BASU, Pratyusha (UTEP) Converting Milk from Food to Commodity: Comparing Nutrition and Income Benefits in Dairy Development Programs in Kenya VAZQUEZ, Carlos (UTEP) Jewish Food, Eating and Identity in the El Paso Region MCFARLAND HARTSGROVE, Kelly (UNT) Food Tastes

 

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Food OpEd Fellowship opportunity in San Francisco

Received from Polly Adema, who is the Director of the Master of Arts in Food Studies Program at the University of the Pacific. Looks like a great opportunity for anyone interested in writing about food and policy for a broad public audience. Note that the application deadline is March 22, 2017, which is very soon. 

In partnership with The Culinary Trust, the Food Studies program at University of the Pacific San Francisco is offering a 2-day intensive training for rising thought leaders dedicated to crafting impactful  OpEd pieces about contemporary food issues. The program takes place over a weekend in July in San Francisco. Tuition and travel scholarships are available. You’ll find details here:

http://www.pacific.edu/Academics/Schools-and-Colleges/College-of-the-Pacific/Academics/Departments-and-Programs/Food-Studies/OpEd-Workshop-A-Place-at-the-Table.html

Please share widely among your networks, especially among those engaged in food activism and food justice efforts. While authors, scholars, and journalists are encouraged to apply, we are dedicated to empowering people who may not have a background in food journalism or in writing for the public but who are committed to getting their voice more widely heard. The deadline to apply is next week but the application is pretty straightforward. 

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Graduate Journal of Food Studies Issue 5

Received from Emily Contois, this is both a great looking journal of interest to FoodAnthropology readers, but an opportunity for graduate students to publish. Check it out!

We are thrilled to share with you the fifth issue of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies (vol. 4, no. 1), which launched today online. This issue features four original research articles, four book reviews, and three creative pieces in the Journal’s new section, Food-Stuff:

Articles

  • Jessica Galen, “Cheesemongers Over Fearmongers: Toward Data Driven Cheese Recommendations for Pregnant Women”
  • Victoria Albert, “Quinoa: The Development of the Modern Export Market and its Implications for the Andean People”
  • Claudia Raquel Prieto Piastro, “Keeping Kosher in Tel Aviv: Jewish Secular and Religious Identity in Israel”
  • Kendall Vanderslice, “Making and Breaking: An Embodied Ethnography of Eating”

Food-Stuff

  • Noah Allison, “Migration and Restaurants: Mapping America’s Most Diverse Thoroughfare”
  • Emely Vargas, “Dear Mom: Teach Him How to Cook, Not Me”
  • Jonathan Biderman, “Inside Tsukiji: A Very Real Wonderland” 

Reviews

  • Sarah Huang: Nora McKeon, Food Security Governance: Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations
  • Rituparna Patgiri: Ursa Ray, Culinary Culture in Colonial India: A Cosmopolitan Platter and the Middle-Class
  • Alexandra Rodney: Julie M. Parsons, Gender, Class and Food: Families, Bodies and Health
  • Daniel Shattuck: Ronda L. Brulotte and Michael A. Di Giovine, Edible Identities: Food as Cultural Heritage

We hope that you enjoy this edition of the Journal, and welcome your support to share it widely:

  • Forward this email to interested parties at your institution and within your networks.
  • Share the Journal on Facebook with this link: bit.ly/GJFS-5 or share the GAFS Facebook announcement on your personal page.
  • Share the Journal on Twitter. Tweet, retweet GAFS tweets, or use sample tweet: Check out @GradFoodStudies’ newest issue of the Graduate Journal of #FoodStudies: bit.ly/GJFS-5 #GJFS5

We also invite you to:

We also welcome submissions for future issues of the Journal. Please visit our submission guidelines for more details. 

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On Food and Labor, Briefly

David Beriss

Andrew Puzder has decided to withdraw his name from consideration for Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. As I pointed out a few weeks ago, nominating a fast-food executive who opposes raising the minimum wage and likes the idea of replacing workers with machines raises a lot of questions. Yet even without Puzder, most of those questions remain relevant, especially since Mr. Trump has, in his other cabinet picks, pursued an agenda that favors big corporations and their leaders over improving the lives of workers. As a consequence, the conditions faced by workers in the food industry need to be at the core of the food movement for the foreseeable future.

When I posted the weekly reading digest earlier this week, I forgot to include a link to an important editorial on immigration, restaurant work, and low wages. Written by Diep Tran, for the NPR food blog, the piece focuses on the problematic idea that foods associated with certain ethnicities and immigrants should be cheap. Tran, who runs Good Girl Dinette in Los Angeles, points out that the expectation of cheap food in Vietnamese, Mexican, or other restaurants can only be met if workers in those restaurants are very poorly paid. His article is a call for better pay and working conditions in “ethnic” restaurants, linked to a willingness by consumers to pay a more reasonable price for the food they serve.

There are many reasons to call attention to the issues raised in this editorial. Questions of low pay and bad working conditions are critical in many parts of the food industry, not just in restaurants. A number of anthropologists have in fact written about these issues – Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz, for instance (on undocumented Mexican workers in Chicago restaurants), or Steve Striffler (on workers in a chicken processing plant, mostly immigrants), or Seth Holmes (on migrant farm workers). As these authors (and others) all indicate, the struggle over wages and working conditions in the food industry is also related to debates around immigration in the United States.

Although many of us like to celebrate the idea of the U.S. as a nation of immigrants, it is worth keeping in mind that it has long been a nation in which those immigrants are exploited and abused, especially if they are undocumented. People often seem to remember Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle” for its depiction of the horrors of the meat packing industry in early twentieth century Chicago. Those horrors were inflicted mostly on immigrant workers. In fact, virtually every way in which those workers were exploited in the novel is still being practiced somewhere, either in the United States or elsewhere, today, as we have pointed out on this blog before. We should keep that in mind whenever we wonder about why food at the grocery store, the fast food restaurant, or “ethnic” eatery seems ridiculously cheap. Perhaps what we should be celebrating is that, historically, the U.S. has also been a nation of labor activists, in which workers have mostly received better wages and working conditions when they have successfully organized for them. That is happening now in much of the food industry and seems more necessary than ever.

Anthropologists will no doubt continue to do an excellent job of documenting the exploitation and dangerous conditions that workers—immigrant or not, documented or not—encounter in the food industry. We also need to remind people that if workers are going to have living wages and decent working conditions, all of us may have to pay more for our food. This points to a broader issue, since food industry workers are far from alone in being poorly paid. The struggle for a living wage for all workers, linked to access to affordable housing and health care, should be central to the food movement itself. And, of course, it remains the core issue confronting the future Labor Secretary, whoever that turns out to be.

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What FoodAnthropology Is Reading Now, February 13, 2017

A brief digest of food and nutrition-related items that caught our attention recently. Got items you think we should include? Send links and brief descriptions to dberiss@gmail.com or hunterjo@gmail.com.

Where else to start but with the outlook for nutrition and agriculture policy in the new administration? This account from Civil Eats of a recent panel discussion on the 2018 Farm Bill gets to some of the essential questions: what will happen to farm labor? What is going on with SNAP? Any reason for optimism? Probably not. But this could be a good read to start a discussion with students about setting U.S. policy priorities.

For additional perspective on where the Trump administration may be going, listen to this interview that Evan Kleiman conducted with Helena Bottemiller Evich, from Politico. From Sonny Perdue’s background, to crop policies in the Farm Bill, SNAP, to soda taxes, food safety and regulation, immigration, and even the White House garden, there is a lot here. The same author has written about President Trump’s personal relationship to food here. This is a pretty detailed take on Trump, his family, and their history with food and well worth reading.

Hearings on President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, fast food executive Andrew Puzder, have been scheduled for later this week, but the debate about his qualifications seems to be picking up steam. In this Washington Post editorial, a long-time Hardee’s employee discusses wages and working conditions in Puzder’s company. Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren persists in her efforts to raise important questions about Trump cabinet nominees. In this case, she has written a very long list of questions about Puzder’s qualifications that you can read about here.

As you may have heard, since the U.S. presidential election, George Orwell’s novel “1984” has returned to the bestseller lists. If you want to stoke the fires of your own paranoia, read this article, in which the very serious New York Times examines the strange deployment of military grade spyware (the kind deployed by agencies like the NSA) into the phones of soda tax activists and scholars in Mexico. Someone is taking food studies scholarship very seriously. At least in Orwell’s novel, everyone knew they were being watched all the time.

How do climate change, coastal restoration policy, indigenous foodways, community organizing, folk wisdom, seafood, food gardens, and tribal recognition all come together in one disturbing story? Read this article by Barry Yeoman, which uses a holistic perspective to examine how native people in south Louisiana are trying to save their communities and foodways as the Gulf of Mexico rises and destroys their land. Yeoman may not be an anthropologist, but this article would really be useful in any number of anthropology classes. Read it.

This piece by Nina Martyris on the NPR food blog examines the role of hunger in the lives of enslaved Americans. She draws on the work of Frederick Douglass, who wrote extensively about how desperate he was for food as a child. Yet Douglass also ended up using food in order to barter for literacy. This is a good piece for teaching about the use of food and hunger tools for controlling people.

From Lucky Peach TV, food science writer Harold McGee narrates this video on the relationship between pollution and the flavor of foods. He starts with the story of how a flavor scientist in LA became a major researcher and activist on smog, then looks at more recent work by folks from the Center for Genomic Gastronomy (yes, that is a thing) and the blog Edible Geography that use the concept “aeroir,” and “smog meringues” to get at the taste of cities. Quite a lot is packed into this little five minute video – show it to your students and you can discuss it for hours.

It turns out that mushroom hunting can be quite dangerous, but not because people end up eating poisonous mushrooms. Rather, it seems that people are themselves the danger, for a variety of rather disturbing reasons. Read this article, from Joshua Hunt on Eater.com for the details. Foolish behavior, murder, mayhem, and more. None of which is the fault of the mushrooms. Have the Cohen brothers made a movie about this yet?

Who invented Nutella and why? This seems like the sort of question that you could easily answer by visiting the web site of the company that makes the stuff (https://www.nutella.com/en/us, if you must). But this article, by Emily Mangini at Serious Eats, argues that the company’s story is missing details. She provides them in the article and refers determined readers to this blog, for an even more in depth examination of the subject.

If you are interested in the history of the restaurant business in the United States, then looking into fast food is unavoidable. From Andrew Puzder (see above) to Ray and Joan Kroc and, of course, to all the activists and workers struggling for decent pay and working conditions (also see above), it is hard to underestimate the importance of the industry to American culture. The success of The Founder, a film about Ray Kroc, provides at least one fascinating perspective. This interview, in which Russ Parsons talks with Lisa Napoli, author of the book  “Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away” (Dutton, 2016) is equally interesting.

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Fear, Fire, and Solidarity in New Orleans

David Beriss

Someone tried to burn down the Flaming Torch restaurant last week. The restaurant, flaming-torch-menu-signlocated in my neighborhood in New Orleans, is a French bistro that has been in business since 2004. It is small and friendly, with good French food, a little bit fancy (they have tablecloths), but very much part of the neighborhood. It is a reliable place for locals seeking classic French dishes (they make a great coq au vin), not a tourist destination. I have eaten there many times, but I especially remember eating there soon after Hurricane Katrina. The Flaming Torch was one of the first restaurants in the neighborhood to reopen and although they were desperately short-staffed, their presence was deeply appreciated by those of us who had come back to the city, because they provided a much-needed place to reunite with neighbors around good food and wine.

The fire, according to news reports, was deliberately set. The owner, Zohreh Khalegi, says she was upstairs, doing inventory, when someone broke into the dining room, doused the place with gasoline, and set it on fire. At least some of this was recorded by a security camera. She escaped to the roof and was rescued by the fire department. The interior damage is apparently quite extensive, so the restaurant’s future is uncertain.

flaming-torch-doorThe arsonist’s motives are unclear, but suspicions have been raised that this may have been a hate crime. Zohreh Khalegi, who started the restaurant with her late husband Hassan Khalegi, is an American citizen who immigrated decades ago from Iran. Although their origins were no secret, until recently there was very little in the restaurant that might have indicated the owners had any ties to Iran. In the last few years, the restaurant had begun to feature occasional special menus with Persian food. Certainly, for many people, this only made the restaurant more attractive, since there are not many other places to eat Persian food in the area. But the current American political context seems to have encouraged and given legitimacy to prejudice against people from countries like Iran (one of the countries subject to President Trump’s immigration ban). Could such prejudice have motivated someone to act against the restaurant? As far as I know, nobody has claimed responsibility for this act. But there have been threats and incidents of violence against immigrants and minorities all over the country since the presidential election. All of this is of grave concern and if the fire at the Flaming Torch is any indication, such things must be taken very seriously.

We do not know if this crime was related to anti-immigrant prejudice. But the fact that people are ready to believe that it is suggests that the political climate in the United States has reached a point (not, of course, for the first time) of critical danger. From fine dining to neighborhood diners, immigrants from many countries play a major role in the American restaurant industry. In New Orleans, as elsewhere in the United States, there are many restaurants owned and operated by people from predominantly Muslim countries, serving food from those regions. There are also many immigrants (perhaps most) who prepare and sell foods that have nothing to do with their origins, so they may not be visible as sellers of foods associated with immigrants. All of them may be targets for people who want to advance the nationalist agenda that has accompanied the rise of President Trump.

flaming-torch-thank-you

There has been an outpouring of support for Zohreh Khalegi and for the restaurant. People have posted testimonials and statements of support on the restaurant’s doors. Money has been raised to help with expenses. There are many people here in New Orleans who are eager to show their solidarity. The stakes involved are very high. By choosing to stand by owners of restaurants and other businesses that are targeted by racists and nationalists, we make a statement about what kind of community and nation we want to live in. We must all consider where we stand at this moment and what we will do to make sure that heated political rhetoric is not turned into more violence.

So why document this on an anthropology blog? There is a lot that anthropologists and other social scientists can do—and are doing—to help us understand the rise of nationalism and fear around the world in recent years. For anthropologists, this sort of incident can be an opportunity to think about how institutions like restaurants tie communities together, as well as about the ways violence, fear, and terror, can work to tear communities apart. We can call attention to the way such acts are named and discussed. President Trump recently claimed that many acts of terror are not adequately covered by the media and that, as a consequence, people do not take the threat of terror seriously enough. This act of arson, if it turns out to have been motivated by politics or hate, is an act of terror, but one that Mr. Trump will probably not define as terror, either because it is too small or because it had the wrong sort of victims. Yet acts of mass violence, including attacks on restaurants, schools, or religious communities, create exactly the kind of fear that terrorists try to achieve. We need to document the impact of these events and examine why they are interpreted by people as acts of terror. And, in this case, we can also show people coming together to resist and to show solidarity. In doing all of this, anthropology can help increase understanding and help resist those who would sow fear among us.

flaming-torch-rebuild

Resistance.

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Assistant/Associate Professor Food Studies/Sociology

u-of-s-maine

 

 

 

Assistant/Associate Professor Food Studies/Sociology

The University of Southern Maine is seeking applicants for a two-year (the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years) non-tenure track Food Studies faculty position with specific expertise in food culture and food systems.  The faculty member will have an appropriate Ph. D. with a record of teaching excellence in a relevant humanities field including history and languages, or in a relevant social science field including anthropology and sociology. The position will have a 3-3 teaching load, with a high expectation for developing an array of new courses, both undergraduate and graduate, that can support the planned curriculum, and serving as an active collaborator in university and community service elements of the Food Studies Program. There is the potential for this position to be renewed as tenure beginning 2019/20 contingent upon program demand and community impact, and also administrative approval.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) is dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education.  USM’s strategic focus is in alignment with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and we are seeking to become a Carnegie Engaged University by the year 2020.  USM offers Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Doctoral programs, providing students with rich learning and community engagement opportunities in the arts, humanities, politics, health sciences, business, mass communications, science, engineering, and technology.  Further information on USM can be found at http://www.usm.maine.edu

USM’s three environmentally friendly campuses are unique, yet all share the extensive resources of the university — and all are energized through strong community partnerships.  Offering easy access to Boston, plus the ocean, mountains and forests of coastal, inland and northern Maine, USM is at the heart of Maine’s most exciting metropolitan region:

  • Our Portland campus is located in “one of America’s most livable cities,” according to Forbes magazine, which also ranks Portland among the top 10 for job prospects.  A creative and diverse community on Maine’s scenic coast, Portland is nationally known as a culinary hot spot!
  • USM’s beautiful residential Gorham campus  supports and celebrates excellence in academics, athletics, music and the arts and is home to ten Living Learning Communities and six Residential Communities.
  • Our Lewiston campus is home to USM’s innovative and richly diverse Lewiston-Auburn College. This Central Maine campus integrates classroom, community and workplace, and provides a small college experience with the resources of a large university.

Qualifications:

Required: Ph.D. in a relevant field by the date of employment. Candidate must possess a strong knowledge of food systems, have a demonstrated record of teaching success, show strong potential for engaging the wider community, have the ability to contribute creatively to curriculum design and have research potential.

Anticipated salary range – mid $60,000s to 80,000 based on rank

Apply online at: https://usm.hiretouch.com/view-all-jobs. You will need to create an applicant profile and complete an application. You will upload a cover letter, a curriculum vita, a list of names and contact information for three references and a statement of teaching and research interests. You will also need to complete the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status form.

Review of applications will begin March 3, 2017.  Materials received after that date will be considered at the discretion of the university.  Appropriate background screening will be conducted for the successful candidate.

USM is an EEO/AA employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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