Contemporary Issues in Food and Drink Essay

In the course module TL3137 Contemporary Issues in Food and Drink, it aims to explore the multi-disciplinary dimensions to the study of food, drink and culture in a contemporary context.

In detail, by means of the course module TL3137, the author of the assignment is able to learn something in the aspect of socio-cultural: multi-culturalism and diversity, in the aspect ofpsychological: food and drink: choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principlesand identity,in the aspect of culinary arts: contemporary entrepreneurial chefs, and in the aspect of philosophical: the politics and ethics of food and drink consumption: food scarcity and security.

In other words,with the above theoretical foundations andanalysis, the students are able to critically analyse and discuss some relevant case studies in different contexts of different food culture. In the assignment, the author of the assignment is able to in the context of a food (Sushi) culture of her choice, critically analyse and discussthe food choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principlesand identity, which mainly is in the aspect of psychological: food. It should be noteworthythat the food (Sushi) culture of her choice is with regard to the food culture of Japan.

Some researchershave explored some multi-disciplinary dimensions to the study of food, drink and culture in a contemporary context. For example, Jacobsand Scholliers(2003)argued the issue of eating out in Europe. The two researchers argued thatthere is a growing interest in local food even if there are a large variety of international foodstuffs for consumers in local country to have access to. Normally,there are some specific benefits for local food. Furthermore, there are a series of routes to different markets for local food (Jacobsand Scholliers, 2003).

Local food refers to the food, whichis produced and consumed within a particular narrowly defined geographical area (Meiselmanand MacFie, 1996). It has to be admitted thatthere appears to be no generally agreed or widely adopted definition for local food. The following is with regard tothe context of a food (Sushi) culture of the choice of the author in the assignment. In the food culture of Japan, the author of the assignmentis going to critically analyse and discuss the food choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principlesand identity, which mainly is in the aspect of psychological: food.

In the context of a food (Sushi) culture in Japan,it has to be admitted thatit appears people have some preferences to make the food choice. For example, a large number of people prefer to make the food choice for local food (Sushi). In detail, Sushi is the local food in Japan, whichis produced and consumed within a particular narrowly defined geographical area (Meiselmanand MacFie, 1996). In Japan, local food (Sushi) is a type of food culture. There are a series of routes for local food (Sushi) to markets in Japan and in the international market(Mennell, Murcott and van Otterloo, 1992).

In his book Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People, Civitello(2011) suggested that inthe context of a food (Sushi) culture in Japan, the local food (Sushi) is the food for the eye, the food for the body, and the food for the soul. In the food culture of Japan, Civitello(2011) suggested that the food (Sushi) often covers everything that could possibly relate to the science, culture, or culinary art of sushi, and go even a bit further to some extent. Kaplan (2012)did some investigations with regard to the philosophy of food.

The researcher suggested thatin the psychological aspect,consumersa particular narrowly defined geographical area may have some understanding of the origins of foods. In other words, consumers a particular narrowly defined geographical area may have a biographical and geographical understanding of foods and food choice (Kaplan, 2012). In the food culture of Japan, there are some relationships between the extent of consumer knowledge and the food choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principles and identity, which mainly is in the aspect of psychological: food.

Furthermore,the structuring of consumer knowledge also may affect the food choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principles and identity. In the context ofthe food culture in Japan, there may be some avoidance, which should be paid attention to. McGee(2004) suggested that the avoidance and taboo ofthe food culture in Japanare with regard to the local cultural habits in the aspect of psychology. It should be noted that the avoidance and taboo of the food may have some adverse effects on individual efforts to meet the nutritional needs (McGee, 2004).

It should be noted thatthe food habits and beliefs persist among people because the food habits and beliefs are deeply rooted in the culture (Watsonand Caldwell, 2005). The food culture of Japanhas a staple food around which the local people’s beliefs, rituals and traditions are built. With the change of the environmental conditions, the beliefs and rituals of the food culture of Japan may change from time to time. In the food culture of Japan, the author of the assignment has found that there are some food taste preferences and cultural influences on the consumption of the food –Sushi.

It should be noted thatthe taste is kind of ‘coloured’ not just by thegustatory properties of the food itself, but its smell, sound and appearance aswell as by expectations generated by marketingcommunications and evencountry of origin(Petrini, 2003). In the context ofthe food culture in Japan, thehedonism of food with hedonistic approach is equal to the anthropology of food (Strong,2011). I’m very proud to state the following: I love the local food (Sushi) of Japan.

To some extent, in the context ofthe food culture in Japan, the hedonism is all about unadulterated self-indulgence (Strong,2011). In detail, the local people will undertake unadulterated self-indulgencewith the local food in Japan. In the context ofthe food culture in Japan, some researcher presented newaesthetic principles of food in Japan is with regard to the relational reflexivity. People normally make aesthetic endeavours in Japan with regard to the local food in Japan (Wilson, 2008).

It should be noted that the aesthetic principles of food in Japanhave very close relationship with the principles of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquillity (Wilson, 2008). In other words, the aesthetic principles of food in Japan have very close relationship with a set of ancient ideals that include wabi (transient and stark beauty), sabi (the beauty of natural patina and aging), and yugen (profound grace and subtlety). The cultural identity in the food culture of Japan is seen in its most abstract form. In detail, the cultural identity in Japanese food is so vivid.

In the context ofthe food culture in Japan, It should be noted thatthe modern Japanese cuisine has close relationship with the local food, the power and the national identity. For instance, the food of Japan is usually regarded as being low-calorie and healthy in the world. Japanese experts are taking a more liberal view of what constitutes authentic Japanese food to satisfy the world’s growing hunger for sushi and other traditional dishes. The above is the identity of Japanese food in the context ofthe food culture in Japan.

The Japanese even made distinct categories of what foods are namedwa-shoku (Japanese food) and what are named yo-shoku (Western food). The identity of a particular foodstuff of the Japanese is associated with the ‘historical continuity and stability’ of the country’s culture (Bestor, 1999: 224). Then, it is time to come to a conclusion. From the course module TL3137 Contemporary Issues in Food and Drink, it has explored the multi-disciplinary dimensions to the study of food, drink and culture in a contemporary context.

By means of the course module TL3137, the author of the assignment is able to learn something in the socio-cultural aspect, in the psychological aspect, in the aspect of culinary arts, and in the philosophical aspect. On the basis of theoretical foundations and analysis, the author of the assignmenthas mainly paid attention to the aspect of psychological: food and drink: choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principlesand identity, to carry out the research. In the ssignment, the author of the assignment in the context of a food (Sushi) culture of her choice, has critically analysed and discussed the food choice, preference, avoidance, hedonism, aesthetic principlesand identity, which mainly is in the aspect of psychological: food. It should be noteworthy that the food (Sushi) culture of her choice is with regard to the food culture of Japan.

References

Civitello, L. (2011) Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Wiley. Jacobs, M and Scholliers, P. (2003eds) Eating out in Europe. Berg. Kaplan, D. (ed. ) (2012) The Philosophy of Food. University of California Press. McGee, H. (2004) McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopaedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture, Hodder and Stoughton. Meiselman, H. L. and MacFie, H. (eds) (1996) Food Choice, Acceptance and Consumption, Chapman and Hall. Mennell, S. , Murcott, A. and van Otterloo, A. H. (1992) The Sociology of Food, Sage. Petrini, C. (2003) (ed) Slow Food: Collected Writings on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food, Grub Street. Strong, J. 2011) Educated Tastes: Food, Drink and Connoisseur Culture (At table). University of Nebraska Press. Watson, J. L. and Caldwell, M. L. (eds) (2005) The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating. Blackwell. Wilson, B. (2008) ‘Thelast bite: Is the world’s food systemcollapsing? ’ The New Yorker. May 19:76-80. Bibliography Fieldhouse, P. (1995) Food and Nutrition: Customs and Culture, Chapman and Hall. Gately, I. (2009) Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. Gotham books. Gillespie, C. (2001) European Gastronomy into the 21st Century. Butterworth Heinemann.