Adventures in Eating: Anthropological Experiences in Dining by Helen R. Haines, Clare A. Sammells

By Helen R. Haines, Clare A. Sammells

Anthropologists education to do fieldwork in distant, unusual areas arrange for major demanding situations in regards to language, customs, and different cultural modifications. even though, like different tourists to unknown locations, they can be unprepared to house the main uncomplicated and useful requirement: nutrients. even though there are various books at the anthropology of nutrition, Adventures in Eating is the 1st meant to arrange scholars for the uncomfortable eating events they might come upon over the process their careers.

Whether sago grubs, jungle rats, termites, or the stinky durian fruit are at the desk, partaking within the act of sharing nutrition can identify relationships important to anthropologists' study practices and information in their host cultures. utilizing their very own reports with unfamiliar-and occasionally unappealing-food practices and customs, the members discover such consuming moments and the way those moments can produce new understandings of tradition and the that means of meals past the speedy adventure of consuming it. in addition they handle how own consuming reviews and culinary dilemmas can form the knowledge and methodologies of the discipline.

The major readership of Adventures in Eating might be scholars in anthropology and different students, however the explosion of nutrition media offers the booklet extra allure for fanatics of No Reservations and Bizarre Foods at the go back and forth Channel.

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Extra info for Adventures in Eating: Anthropological Experiences in Dining from Around the World

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Sablaio, an old man whose pig-keeping house we visited on our way to the release site, shook his head at our incomprehensible abandonment of meat. Our protests that the chick would grow up to produce more eggs in the future appeared to make no impression on Sablaio, who like other Asabano hunters is of the “a-bird-in-thehand-is-worth-two-in-the-bush” philosophy. Another favorite local food is red pandanus sauce, which I found disconcertingly bland considering its bright red color. It is labor intensive to prepare, as the fruit must first be steamed with hot stones in an earth oven, then repeatedly mixed with water, and hand-squeezed to remove the soft insides from the husks that surround each seed.

Shifting our gaze from distinctions between societies to variegations within societies, many internal social boundaries can also be marked with food prescriptions and proscriptions. As Anna Meigs (1984:17) points out in her Melanesian ethnography, food rules can be based on social relationships between individuals occupying different roles within societies. ” In societies based on relative inequality, food’s identity-building potential also makes it a powerful medium through which to pursue status.

Marte discusses the challenges of conducting fieldwork with a serious food allergy, a consideration rarely addressed in the literature on conducting anthropological fieldwork. Her frank discussion of her allergy, like Haines’s contribution, serves as a platform for reflective discussions. Rather than allow her allergy to become an insurmountable obstacle, she uses it to find multiple solutions, including challenging some informants to cook differently, or in other cases leaving time to deal with adverse affects.

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