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Cultural Identity and Food

Food is a basic necessity for life, and thus, life and particularly culture can be understood by examining food. Although food is universal, the symbolic meanings attached to its preparation, distribution, and cultivation are culturally bound.

The very determination of what is considered food is largely cultural. Anthropologists have been on the forefront of demonstrating the power that foodways, defined as food-related activities and systems that include physical, social, communicative, cultural, and other values, have in revealing subjective and fluid meaning as well as societal structural arrangements. The research includes exploring different taboos about foods, different presentations, and ethnically based and regionally based foods.

Culture, defined as the ensemble of values and beliefs, customs, religion, and art that shapes the way of life of a particular group, ...

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