Food Diary: Introduction

When I was studying abroad in London in the fall of 2008, I took a class with some friends called Food, Culture and Identity, course ANT 400. The class examines the role of food in the construction of identity. The food we consume provides the essential energy we need to live, but does it also provide us the way we perceive ourselves to be, and does it allow others to perceive who we are? Incorporation is a basis of identity. In other words, what we incorporate in our eating habits is significant to how we establish and maintain or alter our identities. This may also explain why we tend to avoid foods that are unknown or unfamiliar to us. People hesitate to consume foods that can not be clearly identified because we do not know what effects that would have on our own identities.

The class took us around London in field trips to help situate our theoretical understanding of food in relation to London's many foodscapes. One assignment is what was called our "Food Diary," where we would record our food eating tendencies for two weeks and turn in the results. I thought this record-keeping was also a good representation of my experiences abroad, albeit with a focus on food consumption.

The following post series is a fortnight record of these experiences.