OCT 12

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11: OCT 12

Assigned Reading

  • Soler, Jean. "The Semiotics of Food in the Bible" (55-66)

Practical Eating Series, "Practical Kitchen and Mindful Cooking (Sacred Eating)"

  • Recall N S P model. Examples of interactions: N & S, S & P
  • Objective aspects of the kitchen as workspace. Cutting boards, knives, cooking and storage equipt., machines (or not). Light.
  • Subjective aspects of kitchen space. Separation of time, marking separation from out of house activities, as in other important activities. Cleaning. Ambiance: Music, news, etc. Happy hour and appetizers as prelude to cooking.
  • Mentality and Cooking: variables social/alone, sacred/utilitarian, chore/pleasure. If you are religious, start meal prep with a moment...
  • If you tend to see eating and meal prep as a chore, how to you change that?
  • Reflection of importance of food helps, but skill and knowledge do as well:
  • Importance of cutting skills to enjoy cooking space, later we'll consider the more obvious connection bt skills and gastronomy: flavor and satisfaction.
  • Importance of confidence in basic cooking procedures, (again the main connection here is to taste and satisfaction (gastronomy).
  • Importance of repetition in learning and practicality. Finding flow in food preparation.

Soler, Jean. "The Semiotics of Food in the Bible"

  • How do we explain the dietary rules of Hebrews? (and by extension, JCI tradition)
  • Background thesis: link between diet and view of the world. "a relationship between the idea he has formed of specific items of food and the image he has of himself and his place in the universe." (note: this was partly at issue in SW2 this term.) Some theoretical nods to Levi-Strauss (see his work, "The Raw and the Cooked").
  • Soler gives a detailed account of the transitions through "three plates" of Judaism:
  • 1st plate: Biblical vegetarianism p. 56. -- God gave us plants and seeds to eat. (soul not immortal till 2nd cent bc, external concept) Paradise was vegetarian.
  • Creation in the image of God, yet not God. Need to maintain boundary. Note the transgression found in duality of "tree of life/tree of knowledge" Elohim expresses concern that, having violated God's prohibition regarding tree of life, man might seek to usurp God. Likewise, to eat an animal with a soul would be a usurpation of God's power to take and give life. Diff bt man and God in the food.
  • 2nd plate: Post-flood, covenant with Noah: eat anything but not "flesh with its life"
  • Still, meat has negative connotation, concession to imperfection in man. The flood was a response to murder, mayhem, and corruption of man.
  • Blood is theorized as the prohibited part. Often part of sacrifice.
  • 3rd plate: Post exile covenant with Moses: adds distinction between clean and unclean animals. Still, meat allowed as concession to man's moral imperfection.
  • Note: This covenant is only with the tribes of Israel. Food as cultural and cosmic separator. (Note contemporary analogues. Intentional diets, diets that maintain ethnicity.)
  • In Numbers, reports of Hebrews rebelling (wanting to eat their flocks, which would presumably be for dairy?). Miracle of the quails p. 59. Hebrews ultimately tolerate meat eating, with focus on prohibition of blood and attention to slaughter methods, sacrifice.
  • Passover meal getting back to food origins. 61-62.
  • Moral Order and Food Order
  • Notion of moral order also applied to "mixed" marriages, prohibition of homosexuality, even to having an ox and an ass ploughing together.
  • "hoofed foot" "cloven foot" "chews the cud" -- effort to excluding carnivorous animals. (carnivorous animals out, fish with legs out, winged insects are freaks, Eating deformed animals excluded. Priest can't have crushed testicles (!). Similar reasoning. (more at 63) - excluding mollusks, birds that don't fly, snakes...
  • Clean or pure eating involves going back to origins and God's original intent for creation ). Hence exclusion of "blemished" or "unnatural" animals. Note that generally carnivorous animals are not part of the creation plan and Hebrew dietary guidelines try to isolate herbivores.
  • But Hebrews didn't go back to original vegetarianism, rather to nomad hunter/gatherer diet. Passover meal "bitter herbs and meat" no agricultural products, no leavening for bread (back to grain pastes!), nothing fermented. food of the patriarchs. Food of the origins is taken to be sacred eating.
  • Sacrifice not just about sorting God's share from ours, but atoning for taking the life of the animal. (Meat retains some negative meanings.)
  • Christianity comes in as an evangelical religion, so it must break with dietary laws of the Jews. Christ declares all food clean (Mark 7:19). "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man" (Matthew 15:11). Peter's vision of being commanded to eat clean and unclean animals. Goes with a theology of Christ, fusion of man/god. Also, an evangelizing religion cannot really focus on dietary exclusions. Consuming the blood and flesh of God become part of a sacrament. (That pretty much brings things around to a full circle!)
  • This recent NPR story about the book Fish on Fridays tells the story of the Catholic medieval promotion of fishing-fasting days and the later decline in the fish market with Anglican church politics. [1]
  • Discussion directions:
  • To what extent does "sustainability" provide a criterion of "trophic eating" similar to Hebrew food theology?
  • Does the choice between industrial and organic eating comprise choices in contemporary "culinary cosmos"?
  • Does the Christian decision to "eat God" have implications for contemporary Christian's culinary cosmos?
  • Slaughterhouse question:

Writing Assignment: Assessing the US Industrial Food System (short writing, peer review, Points)

  • Stage 1: Please write an 500 word maximum answer to the following question by October 16, 2020 11:59pm.
  • Topic:
  • Since about September 16 we have been acquiring information and research on the industrial food system in the US and the dietary diseases that result from it. Reviewing that information, identify the principle difficulties that have led to these adverse results. Be sure to acknowledge what the industrial food system does well, be focus on problems in this answer. Use the readings and the "Taxonomy" to remind yourself of the types of problems we have been considering. Which do you consider the most serious problems and why?
  • Advice about collaboration: I encourage you to collaborate with other students, but only up to the point of sharing ideas, references to class notes and readings, and your own notes. Collaboration is part of the academic process and the intellectual world that college courses are based on, so it is important to me that you have the possibility to collaborate. It's a great way to make sure that a high average level of learning and development occurs. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to NOT share text of draft answers or outlines of your answer. Keep it verbal. Generate your own examples.
  • Prepare your answer and submit it in the following way:
  1. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student id number in the file. Put a word count in the file.
  2. In Word, check "File" and "Options" to make sure your name does not appear as author. You may want to change this to "anon" for this document.
  3. Format your answer in double spaced text in a 12 point font, using normal margins.
  4. Save the file in the ".docx" file format using the file name "AssessingIFS".
  5. Log in to courses.alfino.org. Upload your file to the Points dropbox.
  • Stage 2: Please evaluate four student answers and provide brief comments and a score. Review the Assignment Rubric for this exercise. We will only be using the Flow and Content areas of the rubric for this assignment. We will tie specific elements of the prompt to the content assessment, so be sure to consider that in composing your answer! Complete your evaluations and scoring by TBD.
  • Use this Google Form to evaluate four peer papers. The papers will be on the Sharepoint site under Student Writing, but please do not edit these files or add comments directly on them. This will compromise your anonymity.
  • To determine the papers you need to peer review, I will send you a key with animal names in alphabetically order, along with saint names. You will find your animal name and review the next four (4) animals' work.
  • Some papers may arrive late. If you are in line to review a missing paper, allow a day or two for it to show up. If it does not show up, go ahead and review enough papers to get to four reviews. This assures that you will get enough "back evaluations" of your work to get a good average for your peer review credit. (You will also have an opportunity to challenge a back evaluation score of your reviewing that is out of line with the others.)
  • Stage 3: I will grade and briefly comment on your writing using the peer scores as an initial ranking. Assuming the process works normally, I will give you the higher of the two grades. Up to 14 points in Points.
  • 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: [2]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. Up to 10 points, in Q&W.
  • Back evaluations are due TBD, 11:59pm.