Food and Higher Education
Alison Jameson

The study of food is an excellent and pertinent addition to higher education. Food is a facet in every part of life, from one's natural need to eat, to restaurants, eating disorders, advertising, and social activity. To exclude the study of food and eating from higher education is to deny the importance of an activity that humans spend 1/15th their lives doing and spend a much more of their lives thinking about and being influenced by.

Food is present everywhere and it is a subject that goes far beyond the realm of an edible substance. For example, consider the advertising of food: "television commercials are used to sell more than products-they are selling cultural values" (Kane 139). One way that these food commercials affect cultural values is that they paint pictures on how male and female roles differ in the home and especially as regards food preparation and eating.

According to Kate Kane, ignorance about food is "particularly dangerous for women." Since nurturing, namely feeding, is an intrinsic part of the women's role in our culture, it is important that the changes in trends and rituals around feeding be explored. History can also be viewed by cookbooks. Cookbooks can be "appreciated as historical documents and used to reconstruct not just past lifestyles, but the tacit philosophies underlying those lifestyles" (Kolodzey 179).

Food is important to consider; however, it is difficult to teach because little has been studied systematically. But using food as the subject matter in academia is valuable. Food and eating are related to many societal and social problems such as bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive overeating. The act of eating is often seen as disgusting and sinful. It is difficult for many to see the relevance of the study of food, but its study is pertinent and valuable for understanding a wider spectrum of anthropology, psychology, history, and society.

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