GEOG 369 :: Geography of Food

Sorry We're Open, Soul Food, Adams Morgan DC
Instructor: Paul Kaldjian

Office: Phillips Hall 245
Phone: 836-2321/836-3244

I like Pat's Philly Cheese Steaks better






"History celebrates the battlefields wheron we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of the King's bastards, but cannot tells us the origin of wheat. That is the way of human folly."
-- Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915)
"A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes."
-- Wendell Berry, 1990

Food, and the agricultural commodities behind them, are strongly tied to place. As such, the course will focus on the importance of place and geography in the production, distribution and consumption of food. The role of culture and environment are critical in understanding why we eat what (and how much) we eat where we eat it. In the United States, we are increasingly removed from the farm and reliant upon processed foods, so understanding and appreciating the place of food becomes increasingly critical. For most people of the world, food is tied to group identity, but globalization, commodification of culture, and technological innovations have confused the relationship with food. Geographic concepts -- including nature-society relationships, spatial interconnections and patterns, and site and situation -- will be used to help us understand why food is produced and consumed where it is, how these are changing, and why it matters to know this.

Since an important objectives of the course include learning how geographers examine the world, it will include learning some tools of geographical analysis and understanding fundamental theories and concepts in geography. It would be helpful to review the skills that a geographically informed person should know, at least according to the National Geography Standards developed in 1994.