Philosophy of Food

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Course Schedule & Reading Notes

More Course Information

Philosophy of Food Practicum or Research Option

  • This semester, I invite you to consider doing a Philosophy of Food "practicum" assignment. A practicum is typically an experiential learning assignment. If you choose the practicum, we will work out a customized assignment based on your interests and goals in the next 2-3 weeks. Some ideas for the practicum are briefly described below.
  • If you prefer not to do a practicum, you may choose a research topic. Again, we will work on the specific topic based on your interests. Your research topic can be on anything in Food Studies.

Ideas for your Practicum

  • What would you like to improve about your diet and food habits? Perhaps you need to acquire some cooking skills, improve your meal planning, or improve your diet? Maybe you already have great cooking skills and you are good at "sourcing" your diet -- planning meals and managing the "supply chain" for your diet. In that case, you might consider other goals. For example, you might like to learn how to make more dishes in the cuisine of your culture of origin or some other cuisine.
  • As you go through the course, you will acquire nutritional information and information about a healthy diet. There are good reasons to reduce meat consumption in your diet. So, a practicum could focus on adding new dishes to your diet that reduce your dependence on meat, control caloric intake, or add new foods that you would like to learn how to enjoy.
  • To summarize, here are some practicum goals to consider:
1. Cooking skills and meal planning.
2. Diet review and improvement.
3. Gastronomy, satisfaction, and your diet -- exploring cuisines, learning new skills and ways of improving the satisfaction you experience from eating.
4. "Fixing" practical problems in your diet and meal preparation: going to the store less frequently, choosing more varied food stores to supply your diet, making a healthy lunch portable, reducing “continuous eating”
5. Special topics: mindfulness eating, developing better camping cuisine

Ideas for the Research Option

  • Your research options can involve traditional book and article research or research that takes you out into the community. For example, you might volunteer at the food bank and learn about "food security" in Spokane. You could visit a food producer or restaurant that is doing something interesting or innovative (Ex. The Grain Shed, Pure Eire Dairy). You might explore the world of online food bloggers.
  • Again, you may choose the practicum or the research option. Either way, the first step is to think about your goals and then make an appointment with me to discuss your choices. Please try to do this within the first 3 weeks of the course.

Final Paper: “My Philosophy of Food”

  • "My Philosophy of Food" -- Put together your best answers to the most basic questions that define a philosophy of food. What are the fundamental features of a sound approach to food? How should we think about food, the Western Diet, and the satisfactions that food makes possible? What are the implications for your developed philosophy of food in terms of food choices and personal food culture (roughly what to eat and how to eat).
  • Your final paper should be a 7-9 page (typed double spaced).

Miscellaneous Food News and Food Culture

  • Mid 20th century food songs (good for food and gender reflection):
  • The Newbeats, "Bread and Butter" 1964 [1]
  • Nancy Walker, "I Can Cook, Too!" [2]
  • "You've got to eat your spinach, baby" (Many recordings, but Tommy Dorsey with Edythe Wright singing is the best!)
  • Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday, note on gluttony (see links)

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