Food and Culture Assignment Essay

Food and Culture Assignment Essay

  1. What are “Chinese table manners” (Cooper, 1986)? What can we learn from this case study in relationship to cultural practices and food? Provide a few examples the author mentions in the article.

Rice is highly valued in Chinese culture. The Chinese people normally take two meals a day instead of three and rice is barely taken during breakfast. A Chinese dining table is stout or square and the meal is placed at the center and each diner is equipped with a bowl of rice, a pair of chopsticks, a saucer, and a spoon and all individuals take from the ts’ ai dishes. Individuals are expected to raise the bowl and push the food to the mouth. Individuals who let their fan bowls remain on the table and eat by picking up bulges of a fan from the bowl is seen as enunciating displeasure with the meal (Cooper 182).  Individuals are also not allowed to put a somewhat crushed piece of food back into one of the common plates. According to the Chinese way of life, food and especially rice is doled out from a common pot by the host. When individuals are served, they are expected to accept the food with two hands. Accepting food with one hand is regarded as a sign of disinterest, disrespect, and carelessness.Food and Culture Assignment Essay


3 “To discuss food Trucks and social justice you must first discuss the reality that food vending is deeply shaped by class and race politics of public space” (Dunn, 2017). How is street-vending criminalized in the United States? How would you relate this to food and culture?

Street vending in the United States of America is outlawed on the bases of race, social class, and origin. For instance people of color who take part in the vending face the cruelty of the police. Such people are arrested, physically abused and fined heavily. As a result, their businesses are significantly affected which leads to closure. Besides, their standards of living are negatively affected due to loss of income which exposes them abject poverty (Dunn 7). Native food truck owners and especially the elite do not face the cruelty of the police. For instance, they are never arrested or fined heavily and if it occurs, the fines imposed on them do little or no damage to their businesses and lifestyle. Due to their financial abilities, they collaborate with the local authorities and establish industries. Street vending in the United States which is criminalized on the bases of race, class, and nativity is significantly related to food and culture. The United States of America is a nation of the haves and have nots. Individuals who belong to the high class collaborate with local authorities and establish industries that are not possible among small vendors. The culture of the high-class individuals to influence decisions is clearly portrayed in this case. As in the case of food, businesses that face closure belong to poor individuals who sell food staff to their poor colleagues. When such businesses are closed poor individuals in the neighborhood may lack the ability to purchase food in malls due to high costs.           4. Mintz (1996) mentions the relationships between food and meaning. What does heFood and Culture Assignment Essay

refer to when he presents the differences between “inside” and “outside” meanings?

How is this connected to power?

When Mintz mentions the inside and outside meanings, he refers to the ecological, communal, financial and radical situations that regulate issues such as the number of times individuals should work in a day. The outside meaning, on the other hand, refers to the broader communal implication of those situations brought about by institutions and prominent figures in the community. On the issue of power individuals who are not in positions of authority only have limited control of issues in their communities (Mintz 27). Such individuals only have control over internal factors. On the other hand, individuals in high positions of power have control over external factors such as economic and political factors due to their influence both politically and financially.

  1. Describe in your own words the concept of “labor migration. “How does Seth Holmes (2013) describe the risks and perils that Triqui communities face in this process?Food and Culture Assignment Essay

The idea of labor migration refers to the movement of workers in search of employment opportunities. The workers are often prone to situations such as abuses based on race and nativity which triggers their movement (Seth 13). They are exposed to such abuses due to knowledge deficiency on their rights. Triqui communities face a myriad of a challenge during labor migration. For instance, apart from the harsh weather conditions experienced while trailing across the desert, they are captured by border patrol officials, detained, deported and released after paying heavy fines.6. Appadurai (1988) provides us a detailed history of Indian cookbooks and theorizes them in relationship to “Nation-building.” What are some of the examples he provides? How are cookbooks related to race, ethnicity, gender, and social class?


Some states in India have diverse ways of baking and storing snacks. These snakes are served to visiting individuals. In relation to nation building, this means any individual with a brilliant idea is listened to and if their ideas are worth it, they are adopted and implemented for the greater good of the country. Besides, nobody is discriminated against based on their background. Ethnic cookbooks are also used as a way of introducing the political culture of the country to the upcoming generations (Appadurai 15). Cookbooks are also related to gender as they were used to stress the role of different genders. For instance, women were regarded as subordinates to men and were required to carry out domestic chores, unlike men who took part in politics. Besides, individuals who belonged to the upper class held high positions of power due to their influence. Some ethnic groups were also regarded as superior compared to others and held high positions in society.Food and Culture Assignment Essay

works Cited

Appadurai, Arjun. “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India.” Cambridge University Press (1988): 3-24.

Cooper, Eugene. “Chinese Table Manners.” Summer 1986 (1986): 179-185.

Dunn, Kathleen. “Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017): 1-14.

Mintz, Sydney W. “Tassting Food, Tasting Freedom.” Beacon Press Boston (1996): 17-35.

Seth, Holmes. “THE ROAD FROM SAN MIGUEL.” University of Califonia Press (2013): 1-26.Food and Culture Assignment Essay


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