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Correlation between Eating Preferences and Behaviors with an Individual's Identitty

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This paper serves as an exploration of eating preferences and behaviors and how that correlates with an individual’s identity. Specifically, I am interested in examining why we eat what we do. For example, do I eat desert after every meal because I think it tastes good, because I am a woman, or is it simply because I have the financial means to? It is possible that all of these factors are at play when it comes to my food preferences. Individual identity, and socially constructed identities such as gender and social class are all closely connected to the food that we eat, and the ways in which we obtain that food. In this paper I will use the works of many theorists, as well as two films A Matter of Taste and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover to argue that we eat what we eat because we perceive the food we consume to be a reflection of who we are and where we are situated in the social hierarchy of our society. It is important to note that as members of society our tastes, or consumer preferences, are for the most part conditioned by social factors. Our tastes and distastes are largely learned from observing and reproducing the food preferences and consumption behaviors of those that surround us such as our peers, members of a shared culture or social class. French epicure Brillat-Savarin theorizes that we are what we eat, but likewise we are also what we don’t eat (Belasco 1). Our identity is reflected by all of the choices that we make in life, but largely by what we choose to consume or not. Depending on which groups we identify with (man or woman, wealthy, working or poor) we are socially conditioned to have different tastes.
Although the subject of food has recently received a great deal of attention in academia, it...


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...films the consumers are members of the high class who deserve to eat the best, so it must be prepared by the best, which are men.
This notion that male cooking is an art form is largely exemplified in the opening kitchen scenes of A Matter of Taste and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. For example in the scene where the viewer is first introduced to the kitchen in A Matter of Taste there are men carving different meats and sharpening knives, it has a very masculine feel about it. There is a focus on the hands of the men while they carve, slice and dice and its all done with this intensity and focus on precision. Also, while the food is being prepared there is classical music playing in the background, which is a play on art and class. Classical music is often associated with inspiration, and focus, but also with high class. These images portray perfectly


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