Cultural meaning and nutritional value of traditional foods for Oaxacans in a transnational setting

Body

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, Department of Anthropology
Rank at time of award: Associate Professor
Dr. Douglas Crews, Department of Anthropology
Rank at time of award: Professor

Objectives
 

Traditional foods including chapulines (fried grasshoppers), moles (sauces), quesillo (cheese) and tortillas play a central role in the contemporary indigenous, rural Oaxacan (Mexico) diet.  These foods also show up in the diets of Oaxacan migrants in the US. This study seeks to:
 
1.  Define the cultural meaning and nutritional value of traditional foods in the rural
Oaxacan diet.
2.   How these foods are used and nutrition among Oaxacan migrants in the US.
3.   The ways in which nutrition changes as migrants move between sending and receiving communities.
 
To understand the cultural meaning and nutritional value of traditional foods and diet among Oaxacans and how nutrition changes in response to migration we combine methodologies from anthropology, and human biology in this bi-national investigation of indigenous Zapotec.  We believe this innovative framework will allow us to better define, describe and detail diet, nutrition and how diet and nutrition change in response to migration and globalization.  We will use funding from IPR to conduct a pilot study of food and nutrition in rural Oaxaca in August of 2006 with additional work among Oaxacan migrants in the US (locations to be determined), and prepare and submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation January 1, 2007.

 

 

Publications resulting from this seed grant 

 

Cohen, Jeffrey H, ND Mata Sánchez and F Montiel-Ishino . 2009. Chapulines and Food Choices in Rural Oaxaca. Gastronomica, volume 9(1): 61-65.