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ICR Seminar, 2010

THE MEANING OF FOOD
“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are”
JEAN BRILLANT-SAVARIN, 1825

20 and 21 November 2010
The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
School of Oriental and African Studies
10 Thornhaugh Street, London WC1

We need to eat, but nutrition is only one of the reasons we have for eating. We share food with our families and with our friends, and when a Scot eats haggis or an Afghan eats pilau, they are sharing powerful ideas about their nation and culture too. Through our cuisine, our table manners and our tastes human beings have turned eating into an art form but also used food to exclude people of other classes or cultures.

In many religions food is a sacrament. In others, some foods are forbidden. When we talk of good and bad fats or are tempted by chocolate, we are combining moral and religious thinking with modern nutritional science. And, since food is nutrition, choices about what we eat change the shape of our bodies and the structure of our brains.

To help us think about some of the ways in which food makes us who we are, this seminar included talks by:

This two day seminar helped to give all who attended a unique insight into how what human beings eat shapes our lives, our relationships and our thoughts.

The seminar ran from 9.45am till 5.15pm on Saturday 20th November and from 10am till 5.15pm on Sunday 21st November.

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