The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Food Cultures and Customs: Food for Good in Action

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Rural Sociology Wageningen University

Food Cultures and Customs

The Rural Sociology Group coordinates a course called Food Cultures and Customs with the Philosophy Group.

The course is dedicated to examining the role that food plays in and across cultures. Food culture is understood to be the expression of how people value food and everything connected to food. As such, this course is an exploration into the ever changing social functions of food.

This means that we do not look at different cultures  and what they eat.  Instead, it entails an examination of the attitudes and assumptions that shape people’s lives; the rituals and beliefs that mark their identities; and the ways foods are grown, processed, sold and consumed in particular places. 

In this course we ask some big questions:

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Author: Daniela

I will forever be grateful that I was introduced to the utility and beauty of hand crafted products early in life - from the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of Croatian traditional wear to the colorful Kilim carpets that decorated the parquet floors in my grandmother's living room. I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," the smell of the flower stalls in the open air market where my grandmother bought produce early every morning for the day’s meals and the summers spent at my great grandmother's where the village wags would come to gossip over thick, black Turkish coffee in her cool stone kitchen. Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world - one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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