reflections on food

growing, cooking, eating, and thinking…



ravioliYears ago, when I started writing, teaching, advocating and thinking about food from a professional perspective I felt the need to justify myself when asked what my job was about. Many people I met who were doing the same before the turn of the century felt the same. In the last fifteen years things have changed a lot, and food is now a cool topic: too cool, sometimes…

As eaters –beware, I’m going to use this word a lot, as opposed to “consumer” – we all have some knowledge of food. Cooks, food processors and farmers know food from another perspective. The food industry giants always try to make us believe they know best. Than there are dietitians, food writers, journalists and scholars, who also have something to say. These perspectives frequently collide.

In the years, I had a chance to look at food from some of these perspectives, and I hope to be able to do some bridging here. This blog has two faces: I talk about my research with food activists and producers in Michigan and in Italy. I will also try and connect scholarship and daily life and talk about gardening and cooking. Recipes will show up, as well as reflection on the cultural and symbolic meanings of food.

There is a great conversation going on about food in these days. reflections on food is my way to join the conversation and bring my contributions.

Few things about me

I’m a woman, I’m Italian, from Piedmont, and I live in Michigan.

I have two children, a husband, two cats, and lots of plants; a garden, memories, thousands of books, and strongly held opinions. The first two items on this list are not meant to appear in this blog, the cats will probably sneak in, as that is what cats do.

I hold a Master of Interdisciplinary Studies with Wayne State University, and an old style Italian Laurea in Philosophy from the University of Torino. Through the years I held many jobs, and my current venture is my third attempt at a career: currently I’m a PhD candidate with the department of Sociology at Michigan State University, and I’m looking forward to a job in the academia. It sounds pompous, I know.

Before coming to the United States I worked for years with the Fair Trade movement in Italy and in Europe, and –with few friends- founded a cooperative restaurant, La Tavola di Babele, which was one of the first in Italy that created its menus around fairly traded and locally and ethically produced food.

I work with food from many perspectives: I cook it and I grow it; I wrote cookbooks; I taught cooking classes; I made it the focus of my graduate studies. I also eat. Actually, I love eating, especially when in company of good friends.

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