Pp. 425-447 (23)
Keith V. Bletzer
This chapter reviews the literature on food and consumption, and explores
“eating” as an under-publicized activity performed by men and women in agriculture.
Responses from the last section of the Narrative Life Stories are examined, “When you
think of sex, what food do you think of?” These responses reveal narrator viewpoints on
a hypothetical relationship between food and sex that provide a glimpse at the
economically precarious challenges regularly faced by farm workers. Workers in
traveling on-the-season constantly re-constitute the imaginary community in which they
Exploring responses to the interview question shows how farm workers blend
consumption of foods from cultural groups in the southern United States, emphasizing
regional commonalities. Distinctions based on gender in contrast were found to be more
noticeable as distinctive within the field materials.
Aphrodisiac, belonging, biological imperative, consumption,
cultivation, derived pleasure, exchange practices, food distribution, food
production, gendered distinctions, hunger dampening, imaginary community,
invasive entry, marketed food, public representations, re-constitution,
reproduction, sex drive, sexuality, sustainability.
School of Human Evolution and Social Change Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (USA)