Nourishing Body and Soul: The Biocultural Diversity of Food
Volume 7, Issue 2, Winter 2018 in the northern hemisphere
The act of coming together to share food sets the rhythm of human life. The meals we eat with one another are the culmination of a process that begins with the careful raising (or hunting, or gathering) of the ingredients, which are then transformed into physical — and social — nourishment through culturally distinctive ways of preparation. All of this adds up to a rich feast of bioculturally diverse food traditions. This issue of Langscape Magazine, “Nourishing Body and Soul: The Biocultural Diversity of Food,” celebrates the enduring connections between human cultures and the gifts of land and sea upon which they draw for sustenance.
A major theme in this issue is the challenge that traditional (especially Indigenous) foodways face from international agribusiness and its promotion of mass-produced, highly processed, seductively convenient products. Helping local and Indigenous communities maintain or regain their food traditions has implications for community health, stable land tenure, and cultural vitality — all of which are explored here. Our smorgasbord of stories includes accounts of plants as teachers, the changing role of rural women in food production, the meaning of street cuisine to locals and tourists, recipes for special-occasion dishes, innovative ways to connect young people to ancestral food, and much more besides. You will be “called to the table” of food traditions from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.