Food, Identity and Change Project Interview

Pages: 3 (878 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Asian

¶ … Food, identity and change

Project description

The Indian relationship with food is a complex one, given the profound economic inequalities which exist within that nation and the many religious and social taboos surrounding what and how food is consumed. In India itself, "one out of five Indians goes hungry…about 36% of women and 34% of men in India are underweight" (Winterbottom & Jadhav 2011). However, the food economy of India has recently undergone a profound shift, given the emergence of the Indian middle-class. Also, the immigrant experience of America, of entering a country of relative want to relative prosperity, has likewise changed the Indian concept of food.

The purpose of this project is to see how second-generation Indian-Americans view their relationship to food after growing up in America's profoundly different food culture. Although certain aspects of Indian cuisine have been adapted to America (including the popularity of Anglicized Indian dishes like curry and veganism and vegetarianism overall), Indian-Americans must walk a delicate tightrope between the two cultures as they negotiate their family's and the dominant culture's concept of food, body, and identity.

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Hindus traditionally do not eat beef and India has a high vegetarian population compared with other nations. I am curious to the extent to which these customs are observed in second-generation Indians. Also, in India, there is a strong tradition of entertaining at home vs. dining at restaurants and the preparation methods of Indian food are often very different than those to prepare standard American fare.

Interview on Food, Identity and Change Project Assignment

However, food habits are changing in India in the wake of globalization: fast food is making incursions into India, and rates of lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are increasing up. I am also curious to see if these changes which have coincided with the industrialization of this developing world country are paralleled in the lives of Indian-Americans who have grown up in the fully industrialized United States. Said one Indian, professional woman: "She sees her parents' generation suffering the effects of the sugar-heavy, oily diet they grew up on. 'Even if we make parathas [pancakes], we don't put butter and ghee in'" (Winterbottom & Jadhav 2011).

I realize that the term 'Indian' is a very broad and problematic term, given that many regional differences exist. Still, because of the common threads of the ties to the specific region, religion, and food preparation techniques, I believe that a comparison of attitudes could still be useful. There are also indications that adopting a Westernized diet has been very negative for many Indians in India, given the rise of diabetes in that country, and I am interested to see… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Food, Identity and Change Project" Interview in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Food, Identity and Change Project.  (2013, December 13).  Retrieved May 30, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Food, Identity and Change Project."  13 December 2013.  Web.  30 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Food, Identity and Change Project."  December 13, 2013.  Accessed May 30, 2020.