The Garden of Eating: Food, Sex, and the Hunger for Meaning

By Jeremy Iggers | Go to book overview

4
We Are
What We Eat

Under postmodern conditions, persons exist in a state of continuous construction and reconstruction; it is a world where anything goes that can be negotiated.

—KENNETH J. GERGEN, THE SATURATED SELF

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.

—ADVERTISEMENT FOR PETER PAUL CANDY BARS

f we are what we eat, then what are we? The daily necessity of eating has shaped every culture and civilization, from the earliest tribes of hunter-gatherers to postindustrial societies. The work we must do to nourish ourselves, and the social arrangements we must enter into, shape us as persons. But what happens to the self in a culture that seems to be coming apart at the seams?

Most of us take it for granted that there is such a thing as a human nature that we all share, regardless of what culture or what historical period we live in. "People are people," the saying goes; cultures may vary, but the basic motivations that prompt people to act the way they do are the same.

-81-

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The Garden of Eating: Food, Sex, and the Hunger for Meaning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - The Paradox of Plenty 1
  • 2 - The Foodie Revolution 23
  • 3 - Frapped Inside the Magic Kingdom 51
  • 4 - We Are What We Eat 81
  • 5 - Food, Sex, and the New Morality 107
  • 6 - The Gospel According to Weight Watchers 129
  • 7 - Making Peace with Food 149
  • 8 - Planting a Garden, Changing the World 167
  • Notes 187
  • Bibliography 193
  • Index 197
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