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Amuse Bouche

‘Food’, observed the German author Ernst Jünger during the Nazi occupation of Paris, ‘is power’.

Earl Butz, the US Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Nixon and Ford, created the term ‘food power’ in 1974 to describe how food is used as a political weapon. Food has been implicated in international politics since at least the sixteenth century. But the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of food is also implicated in the politics of everyday life: in the ways in which we formulate identities, relate to one another, and challenge or enforce existing social structures.

This is not a food blog, but, rather, a blog about food – and, more specifically, about food, eating, and cooking in South Africa. The world has enough recipes for red velvet cake floating around the internet. Here, I’m taking a closer look at the complex relationships between eating and identity; between cooking and politics; and between food and power.

Having recently been awarded my PhD in History and started work, I’ve been casting around for a new research topic. I’m hoping this blog will help me to find ways of writing about food.

And it’s an excuse to read recipe books. Hurrah!

So let’s begin.
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Tangerine and Cinnamon by Sarah Duff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. shahpar #


    welcome to the blogosphere darling! very much look forward to reading your blog about food and power and curry powder 🙂

    lots of love!

    February 17, 2011
  2. Thank you! I like that: ‘food and power and curry powder’.

    February 17, 2011
  3. Sounds great, but for professionalism I would recommend that you run WordPress on your own server, or your university’s, etc. This would free your page of ads like “All you can eat” which mar your reflection.. 🙂

    February 17, 2011
    • Rats – you’re right. I should – now to learn how.

      February 18, 2011
  4. Welcome to the blogsphere! Love your take on things; looking forward to your posts.

    February 23, 2011
  5. Lara Pearson #

    Hey really like your blog! Just wanted to ask you a question.

    Your first line: “‘Food’, observed the German author Ernst Jünger during the Nazi occupation of Paris, ‘is power’.” – would mind telling me where you found this?

    I’m writing an essay on the subject and want to reference Jünger but don’t in which text he said this in.

    I would be so appreciative!

    Thank you,

    Lara x

    December 10, 2012
    • No problem – I think it’s from an essay in Bruce Chatwin’s What Am I Doing Here.

      December 10, 2012

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