In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking analysis of the sociocultural and personal meanings of food and eating, Deborah Lupton explores the relationship between food and embodiment, the emotions and subjectivity. She includes discussion of the intertwining of food, meaning and culture in the context of childhood and the family, as well as: the gendered social construction of foodstuffs; food tastes, dislikes and preferences; the dining-out experience; spirituality; and the `civilized' body. She draws on diverse sources, including representations of food and eating in film, literature, advertising, gourmet magazines, news reports and public health literature, and her own empirical research into people's preferences, memories, experiences

Tastes and Distastes

Tastes and distastes

Quentin Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction opens with the two American protagonists, both hardened hitmen, driving in their car discussing fast food in Europe. One of the men has just returned from a trip to Amsterdam and Paris, where he noticed that one may purchase a glass of beer in McDonald's restaurants, unlike in the United States, where only soft drinks are available. The character goes on to observe that in the Netherlands, French fries are eaten not with ketchup, as is the American custom, but with mayonnaise. The other man forcibly expresses his disgust at such a practice. As this response suggests, the preferences for food demonstrated by individuals or groups are integral to the way people are regarded by ...

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