Food003
Food utopia and the way out

Convenors:
Melanija Belaj (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research)
Jelena Ivanišević Caput (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research)
Stream:
Food
Location:
A218
Start time:
24 June, 2015 at 14:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Present food practices are anticipated as the means by which we on a personal level compensate the lack of values that we identify with industrial food, while on a general level we emphasize the gaps and disproportions between local and global food policies.

Long abstract:

Western food culture is distinguished by food anxieties (like mistrust in the food we consume and the fear of obesity as a result of various food shortcuts of developed societies), which feed fuel to, until recently oppositional, food practices such as slow food, organic food and similar movements. The utopian view of the former table stresses seasonality and locality of victuals, cooking as materialization of love and care, while at the same time it conceals basic modesty and rationality of former culinary practices, as well as large part of quotidian menus. How can romanticist enchantment by Grandma's cooking and industrially made home-style food products be explained? How can the traditional role of nourishing mother and rhythm of modern life be reconciled, what are the home/work balancing strategies available today and what kind of help can we get in keeping the families around the table? How has the culinary past, that comprised fasting, hunger and monotonous diet, turned into coveted paradise, a wishful model of eating in comparison to the reality that gives priority to feeding (fast food, for example)? How does the development of well-fed gourmet culture influence seeing food as part of cultural heritage and what does it actually mean in terms of preservation and conveying the culinary knowledge? If we consider food as an analytic tool, then we must raise the question what are the strategies of overcoming the gap between reality and fantasy.