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 was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once 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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