Eating CultureAn Anthropological Guide to Food, Second Edition

From ingredients and recipes to meals and menus across time and space, this highly engaging overview illustrates the important roles that anthropology and anthropologists play in understanding food and its key place in the study of culture.

The new edition, now in full colour, introduces discussions about nomadism, commercializing food, food security, and ethical consumption, including treatment of animals and the long-term environmental and health consequences of meat consumption. New feature boxes offer case studies and exercises to help highlight anthropological methods and approaches, and each chapter includes a further reading section. By considering the concept of cuisine and public discourse, Eating Culture brings order and insight to our changing relationship with food.

Gillian Crowther is Professor of Anthropology at Capilano University in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“It is written in a clear and comprehensible manner for those interested in food studies, not only from an anthropological perspective, but also encompassing the stance of social sciences, and is much more than a mere introduction or textbook. The author reveals personal involvement in the way her own research is incorporated into the text, and the theory is creatively interwoven with an ethnographic approach.”Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“… A great introductory read for students (or anyone) interested in thinking about how and why we ‘do food’ in modern societies.”-Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures

“A feast of ideas, insights, surprising connections, and delights: Eating Cultureprovides an engrossing journey through humanity’s past and present engagements with food. It is a wonderful introduction to the anthropology of food and, indeed, to anthropology in general.”-John Barker, University of British Columbia

“In anthropology, we study food in order to better understand societies and cultures. Eating Culture provides an expansive, thorough, and very readable explanation of how we do that and of what we have so far understood.”-David Beriss, University of New Orleans

“What a satisfying ‘meal’ Crowther has prepared! A rich and nuanced take on food and culture.”-Stephen Wooten, University of Oregon


    List of Illustrations
    List of Tables, Diagrams and Boxes

    Prologue: Setting the Anthropological Table
    An Anthropological Appetite for Food
    Social Anthropological Methods and Principles
    Pondering the Imponderabilia: An Autoethnographic Approach

    1. Omnivorousness: Classifying Food
    The Omnivore’s Dilemma
    Food Classifications and Rules
    Eating for Health: Whose Rules? Whose Authority?
    Redux Omnivore’s Dilemma: Too Many Rules, Too Much Food?

    2. Settled Ingredients: Domestic Food Production
    Food-Getting Strategies and Cuisines
    Hunter-Gathering or Foraging
    Domestication of Plants and Animals

    3. Mobile Ingredients: Roots, Routes, and Realities of Industrialized Agriculture
    Imagining Global Routes
    Long-Distance Trade Routes: Spices and Exotic Foods
    Roots of Industrialized Agricultural: Plentiful Food for All?
    Retailing Food: Markets to Supermarkets
    Exporting Industrial Agriculture

    4. Cooks and Kitchens
    The Origins of Fire Use and Cooking
    Cooking Techniques
    Cooking and Food-Getting Strategies
    Beyond Culinary Triangles: Toward Contextual Meanings
    Cooking and Gender
    Men’s Conspicuous Cooking: Public Cuisine
    Chefs, Celebrity, and the Shaping of National Cuisines
    Domestic Kitchens: Gender and Home Cooking

    5. Recipes and Dishes
    Recipes: Creating Dishes
    Experiential Cooking: Performing Domestic Recipes
    Textual Cooking: Reading Commercial Recipes
    Cookbooks: Codifying National Cuisines
    British Cuisine: From Cookbooks to Curry

    6. Eating In: Commensality and Gastro-Politics
    Meals: Patterns of Eating
    Special Meals: Feasting
    Types of Feasts

    7. Eating Out and Gastronomy
    Eating Away from Home: A Risky Business?
    Street Food: Eating Standing Up
    Restaurant Food: Eating Sitting Down
    Characteristics of Restaurants
    Gastronomy: Cultivating Culinary Taste
    Types of Restaurants: Gastronomic Foodscapes
    Ethnic Cuisines: Diaspora Dining
    Restaurants as “Ethnosites”: Cross-Cultural Encounters

    8. Global Indigestion: Resetting the Agenda for Food Security
    Indigestion: Malnutrition and Global Gastro-Politics
    From the Top Down: The Gastro-Politics of Food In/Security
    Four Pillars of Food Security
    Food Quantity: The FAO’s Agenda and Challenges
    Resetting the FAO Agenda: Sustainable Agriculture
    Food Quality: The WHO’s Agenda and Challenges
    Resetting the WHO Agenda: Healthy Diet
    From the Ground Up: Grassroots Activism
    Resetting the Menu: Food Security and Healthy Food

    9. Local Digestion: Making the Global at Home
    Foodscapes: Materializing Global Foods
    Local Shopping: Retailing the Meaning of Food
    Fast and Tasty: Localizing Global Dishes
    Locavorism: Eating Locally
    Farmers’ Markets: Local Foods and Faces
    Brew and Serve: Localizing a Global Beverage
    Hybrid Consumption: Local and Global Realities

    Epilogue: Leftovers to Takeaway
    Takeaway Cuisine
    Takeaway Leftovers