Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating  

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"Given the social importance of food, it might seem strange to discover that the Trobrianders eat alone, retiring to their own hearths with their portions, turning their backs on one another and eating rapidly for fear of being observed." --Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating (1980), p. 8-9, Peter Farb, ‎George J. Armelagos


"“All animals feed but humans alone eat,” write Farb and Armelagos (1980:3) in the opening line of their book Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating. And they are, of course, right. To us, “feeding” signifies an unceremonious act of necessity with no rules to dictate its course. Humans look for and take in food daily, which could be seen as the definition of the verb “to feed,” but they are nevertheless unfamiliar with what is truly meant by the word. Although eating is central to the lives of all human beings, eating and the rituals associated with it are even more pronounced here in the South, impossible though it may seem. For some time I have been aware of the centrality of food to Southerners, especially myself, but this assignment gave me the opportunity to look at local food and eating practices differently."[1]


"The place of food in the total Trobriand culture is discussed by Malinowski (1961, 1935, 1929)."

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Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating (1980) is a book by Peter Farb and ‎George J. Armelagos.

Excerpt:

"The Trobrianders believe that this magic also prolongs supplies by encouraging the eating of breadfruit from the village groves and wild fruits from the bush. Such magic is nutritionally and ecologically advantageous; it forces the Trobrianders to exploit their environment more fully, to consume a wide range of foods, and thereby to obtain a greater variety of vitamins and minerals. Given the social importance of food, it might seem strange to discover that the Trobrianders eat alone, retiring to their own hearths with their portions, turning their backs on one another and eating rapidly for fear of being observed."

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