This blog focuses on the deeper political significance of food in today’s increasingly global society. Centered in France, Cuisine Politique explores the relationship between French food culture and the intensifying forces of globalization, as well as the politics and economics that both drive and combat these forces.
“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” –Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Physologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, 1826
This phrase, translated to “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are,” acts as a point of origin for today’s common adage, “you are what you eat.” In its most basic definition, food is sustenance for human life. More specifically, food directly affects physical health and well-being. But the significance of food, historically and today, transcends human health and sustenance. Food often acts as a sign of wealth or social status, a way of performing national identity or claiming local culture, a religious symbol, or a vessel for politics and economics. With these interpretations of food in mind, “you are what you eat” has a much deeper meaning – one that implies various facets of identity and agency in the contemporary world.