NOV 23

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22: NOV 23

Assigned Reading

  • Wallach, Cuisine of Contact (1-31) (31)

Debrief and Stage 4 of "Ethics of Eating" writing

  • General Advice: There is still alot to learn from reading other student work in light of all of this informtion. Compare animals and comments. Discuss with me. Note that not so many points separate us. Grading system is designed to let practice writing without great consequence for your course grade. Just do your best to take lessons from the top ranked writing in the course as you go in to the final work in the course.
  • Some observations: Many of you were very impressed with climate arguments, many saw confluence of arguments justifying reduction of meat consumption. On the motivation problem, well, it's a hard problem. Many of you thought the word hadn't really gone out (quite a few said it was Food News! for them), while others really focused on how deeply we are connected to our diets. (Today's reading, along with Rachel Lauden's "culinary cosmos" idea reinforce this.)
  • We will consider the question of dietary change in our last few classes in December. It is one of the most interesting problems in food studies today, I think.
  • Stage 4: Back-evaluation: After you receive your peer comments and my evaluation, take a few minutes to fill out this quick "back evaluation" rating form: [1]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. Five points for completing the backevaluations and up to 5 more from your peers.
  • Back evaluations are due November 25, 2020, 11:59pm.

End of Term Work

  • Check with me on optional work at this point. Too to do journals for 10%. Plenty of time for many other options, but it is time to get your grading scheme percentages right and equal to 100% (1) on Please see me if you are unsure how to do that.
  • Required work
  • Food Media assignment due this Wednesday (see Nov 18 above). I will keep the due date, but I will not "harvest" results until the Sunday, November 29. So if you want to do this over the break, feel free. Same points.
  • Final paper: Here is the text from for your choice about the final paper.
  • "Food Research" Final Paper(10-20%) - This 7-9 page paper is a research paper within the field of Food Studies on a topic of your choice. You may want to connect your major field of studies to the research. You must do either this paper or the "My Philosophy of Food" Final paper. More details can be found at the course wiki page.
  • "My Philosophy of Food" Final Paper(0-25%) - This 7-9 page paper is a statement of your "Philosophy of Food," which represents your current views on major questions addressed by the course. You must do either this paper or the "Food Research" Final paper. More details can be found at the course wiki page.
  • Please let me know by Thanksgiving break, which paper you will write by filling out this form.
  • Final Essay - (10-20%) - At the end of the semester, you will be asked to write one final essay. This will be open book and open note. No names please. I will assign the topic for this essay on Dec 9th and it will be due on Dec 16th. Probably 600-800 words.

From Culinary Cosmos to Culinary Culture

  • Today's reading highlights a few themes:
  • How we use food to create cultural meanings, sometimes by fiat drawing on a projected past.
  • Historical accounts of the Pilgrims and Early settlers encounters with Native peoples and their own ideas about food / food and religion.
  • These are also stories of dietary change, so they reflect back on our recent work on the motivation problem in the ethics of eating and forward to our thinking about dietary change.
  • How similar is a present day carnivore, resisting compelling arguments about diet and climate, to a European settler to North America between 1621 and 1640? Note that many of our founding stories are about religious emigration and connect food to religion and god's judgement about you in real time. Could that explain something about our current food ideologies? Did we take the prosperity of meat agriculture and high impact agriculture as a "sign"?

Wallach, Chapter 1, "The Cuisines of Contact"

  • Note from intro: think about what's at stake for a Pilgrim in choosing what to eat or not eat. "humourial eating" -- food affects character.
  • Thanksgiving 1621
  • [By the way, who plans to arrive on Cape Cod in November from a three month journey without a lot of food?]
  • Thanksgiving, 1621, "Puritans" and Wampanoag Indians. Description of Mayflower diet and transit. ship's biscuits, scurvy.
  • Pilgrims steal Indian corn, claiming it was sent by God, but also repaying the Indians later.
  • 40 of 102 voyagers died the first winter.
  • Encounter with Tisquantum. (His story also told in "1491".) 5: Indian planting methods "three sisters", fish fertilizer
  • 6: There was actually a feast in 1621, with a partial account surviving. 90 Native Americans.
  • Thanksgiving meals were ordinary rituals, not annual commemorations. Really, thanks to god, not the Native Americans. Not clear how much these were intercultural events in general.
  • "Thanksgiving" doesn't become a national holiday until the late 19th century, and even then not explicitly connected to Pilgrim event until a few years later. Later used to promote assimilation 7. (Food/identity) Traditional foods of Thanksgiving shaped in Victorian period.
  • 1636 war with Pequot might was food related. Horrible. 7-8 might have been part "famine war".
  • Thesis at p. 10 read. Fantasy part is to think the colonist enjoyed their native feast. Likely not.
  • Early Modern ideas of food and diet, corn
  • Brits diet ideas: Galen rules until modern chemistry: four humours, food and character (11) diet and psychology together (which, given the microbiota research, isn't crazy). But crazy to think wine fortifies blood, eating an animal you take on its character. "Humoral eating" Fish reduces carnal desire. Don't eat too many rabbits or you'll scare easily!
  • Note discussion at p. 12: Humble british diet pretty unappealing. Note class markers still present today: variety, high trophic eating (meat), fresh greens... Humble cuisines had pottages, stew pots...
  • Pilgrims regarded Native diet as subhuman. Iroquois for corn "our life" "our mother" - read at p. 17: Pilgrims wary of choosing corn because of it's association with Indian identity, doubted its nutritious properties. wheat and fungus. not easily in early modern New England. Tried to "eat savage food in a civilized way" 18 Resistance to corn partly cultural. Disdain in sharing "culinary cosmos".
  • Culinary Encounters at Jamestown 1607-09 (19)
  • a commercial venture, near complex Indian confederations, Indians fed colonists, but colonists also raided villages and murdered Indians. Powhatan decides to stop helping, 1609 winter of starvation (and cannibalism) 22. native diet 23 -(read, it would be challenging), told from a captive's (Mary Rowlandson) report. 23 read. settlers had trouble foraging, seemed uncivilized. not used to lean times.
  • Fasting and Feeding in the City on a Hill 1640s
  • Following the Mayflower, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized arrival of 16,000 by 1640s. "City on a Hill" saw morality of community related to food security. really a kind of theocracy. food pests, crop failures might be consequence of fornication. communal fasting. fasts more typical than feasts due to concern about gluttony 26: simplicity of Puritan diet in part a rejection of perceived upper class English gluttony. Note that Puritans had more extreme views about "virtuous/spiritual eating" than Pilgrims. (p. 27 - use of "humoral eating" theory to quell those desires and promote spiritual purity.) As Puritans became wealthier that incorporated large amounts of boiled meats into their diets. [In many ways, Barber's "1st plate" is a legacy of rich Puritans!]
  • "The Puritans were remarkably ambivalent about food (cf. other food cultures). They were fearful of both abundance and scarcity.