Why Study Food and the Body?
Food is one of the most basic and important parts of human culture. All humans must eat, and all human societies have created intricate food rituals and beliefs. Yet the value and role of food varies significantly from person to person, and from society to society. Food studies scholars are working to better understand the history, meaning, and politics of food in ways that complement and complicate the agricultural and scientific research.
As many growers and food producers know well, a significant part of the value of food comes not from its physical properties but from the social and cultural contexts out of which it comes. Scholars who study these contexts can add a tremendous amount of depth to industry’s marketing initiatives.
Through its quarterly colloquia, annual graduate student dissertation retreat, and numerous public events, this MRP on Studies of Food and the Body actively promotes bringing together representatives from the food industry and the public with academic scholars for innovative dialogue and partnerships.