‘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.
Tangerine and Cinnamon by Sarah Duff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.