Food Culture


Edition I: Feb. 22, 2008



"You are what you eat." 


Guiding Questions:

  • Why should I care about what I eat?
  • What does the food that we eat tell us about our culture?
  • How does the food that we consume relate to science?

        The Food & Culture section of our Food Science website explores the wonderful world of food and culture.  Importantly, we explore "the innovative premise that everything to do with food, including its capture, cultivation, preparation and consumption, represents a cultural act” (Montanari, M., 2007. Food is Culture).u

        It is widely believed that foods are intrinsically cultural – what and how we eat are essentially defined by our cultural, regional, ethnic, as well as national backgrounds.  The complex recipe of food selection and food preparation, with social and demographic aspects of a group’s history distinguishes cultural flavors. 

         America represents a wide variety of cultures and an equally diverse menu of foods.  Each community, through generations, has contributed to the evolution of the American diet.  Unfortunately, people have associated “Fast Food” as representative of all American food.  

          Fusion cuisine is a new twist to an old phenomenon, cultural fusion.  People today, have access to a wider variety of prepared food products and a blending of flavors at stores, restaurants, and open markets.  More so, healthy recipes fusing Eastern and Western flavors dominate the scene. Presently,  average people learn how to prepare cross-cultural fares from cable shows, such as Good Eats with Alton Brown on The Food Network .



The above link is a clear demonstration of the field work in food and culture.  Rethinking School Lunch offers teachers and other leaders in education, parents, and students with a progressive perspective in food and culture.  Please take the time to view and learn how food is linked to culture, health and the environment.

Part I:  Traditional Foods

Part II: Fast Food Nation

Part III: Fusion

Part IV: Glossary

Part V: Resources