A Taste Of New Zealand Food Culture

1223 words - 5 pages

In this essay we will explore how food and the environment relate to the sociological imagination and they're dimensions which include historical, cultural and structural. What has control or influence over our eating habits which may be political, historical or economic. This essay in written based on the writings of Carter, I. And Meynard, A. (2001) 'Tell me what you ear ...' in C. Bell (ed) Sociology of Everyday Life in New Zealand.. By the end of this essay I hope we will have a clear understanding of how food and eating can relate to our society and how they can influence one another. "The study of food and eating has been one of the fastest growing areas in sociology" (p. 90) says the article, as it bring many new ideas and perspectives to the table.

In the article I've selected to use for this essay we can explore many ideas that relate to food and eating and how we can extrapolate why we have tendencies through our culture, history, socioeconomic status and structure of society. The article explains to the reader how our eating habits have changed over time and how we can observe these changes. It discusses our national pride in regards to some of our products that are now part of the global market and no long produced locally. Some topics covered in this article speak about how history has shaped our eating habits, from New Zealand originated crops such as the kumara and taro to the colonisers bringing over pigs and crops never seen before by indigenous Maori. It discusses the globalisation of our products such as the iconic kiwi Wattie's tomato sauce. We can learn how our eating habits have been observed (however minimally) through mediums such as the Edmonds Cookery Book. Gender roles have played a huge part on the Kiwi diet all throughout history, with predominantly females (mothers, sisters, daughters and wives alike) beings the at home cooks commonly.

In the article the ideas around the kiwi diet have been discussed from many points of view one of which is histories influence on changing diets to European settlers and indigenous Maori. The past has always and obviously played a huge role in our eating habits, "the process of producing (through hunting, gathering, cultivating or herding) and consuming foodstuffs is the fundamental constraint on human action" (p. 89). Ever since contact between European and Maori we have seen changes in both diets. The Europeans at first weren't all too comfortable with the idea of having new cuisine and preferred to eat meals that more or less vaguely reminded them of home, however the Maori adapted and “learnt to grow unfamiliar vegetables and farm unfamiliar animals” (p. 91). Having the opportunity to move to a new country, majority of the settlers took the opportunity to alter their diets radically and began to consume mostly meats and alcohols. Even as more nationalities came to New Zealand their diets changed in accordance, “Pacific Islanders’ food patterns, like Maori’s, borrowed more from...

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