Article

Balancing Act: Identity and Otherness among Latin American Immigrants and their Food Practices

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

This article deals with the identity construction of Latin American immigrants in Israel through their food practices. Food is a basic symbolic element connecting cultural perceptions and experiences. For immigrants, food is also an important element in the maintenance of personal ties with their home countries and a cohesive factor in the construction of a new identity in Israel, their adopted homeland. Food practices encode tacit information and non-verbal cues that are integral parts of an individual’s relationship with different social groups. In this case, I recruited participants from an online group formed within social media platforms of Latin American women living in Israel. The basic assumption of this study posits that certain communication systems are set in motion around food events in various social contexts pertaining to different national or local cuisines and culinary customs. Their meaning, significance and modifications and how they are framed. This article focuses on the adaptation and acculturation processes because it is at that point that immigrants are faced with an interesting duality of reconstructing their unique cultural perceptions to either fit the existing national collective ethos or create a new reality. In this study, the main objective is to compare two different immigrant groups: Jewish and non-Jewish women from Latin America who came to Israel during the last ten years. The comparative nature of the research revealed marked differences between ethnic, religious and cultural elements that reflect coping strategies manifested in the cultural production of food and its representation in two distinct domains: private and public. In the former, it is illustrated within the family and home and how they connect or clash with the latter in the form of consumption in public. Combining cultural studies and discourse analysis, this article offers fresh insight into new models of food practices and reproductions. The article’s contribution to new food research lies in its ability to shed light on how inter-generational and inter-religious discourses are melded while food practices and traditions are embedded in a new Israeli identity.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
We study the state of food retail system serving an ethnic minority community. This group, Israeli Arabs, enjoys a relatively high standard of living but continues to make many food purchases in a variety of small, specialized retail food formats. In contrast, the surrounding Jewish population is mostly shopping in supermarkets.Data from a survey of consumer shopping behavior across formats of different product lines are used to identify the barriers to the advancement of the supermarket format in this minority sector. Our study shows that socioeconomic factors, found in earlier supermarket diffusion studies to be the main barrier, have no impact in this case. We identify the tendency to purchase perishable food items in traditional outlets and the geographical diffusion barrier (distance of supermarket formats) to be the main limitation on supermarkets’ market share growth. Further, we find that both these factors are influenced by underlying cultural and ethnic factors characterizing the study population.
Article
Full-text available
A picture of food consumption (availability) trends and projections to 2050, both globally and for different regions of the world, along with the drivers largely responsible for these observed consumption trends are the subject of this review. Throughout the world, major shifts in dietary patterns are occurring, even in the consumption of basic staples towards more diversified diets. Accompanying these changes in food consumption at a global and regional level have been considerable health consequences. Populations in those countries undergoing rapid transition are experiencing nutritional transition. The diverse nature of this transition may be the result of differences in socio-demographic factors and other consumer characteristics. Among other factors including urbanization and food industry marketing, the policies of trade liberalization over the past two decades have implications for health by virtue of being a factor in facilitating the 'nutrition transition' that is associated with rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Future food policies must consider both agricultural and health sectors, thereby enabling the development of coherent and sustainable policies that will ultimately benefit agriculture, human health and the environment.
Article
Full-text available
Everyone knows that American children are becoming fatter, but not everyone agrees on the cause. Dr. Marion Nestle asks, is food marketing responsible? The author discusses childhood obesity and the marketing of food to children.
Book
The Encyclopedia of Food and Health provides users with a solid bridge of current and accurate information spanning food production and processing, from distribution and consumption to health effects. The Encyclopedia comprises five volumes, each containing comprehensive, thorough coverage, and a writing style that is succinct and straightforward. Users will find this to be a meticulously organized resource of the best available summary and conclusions on each topic. Written from a truly international perspective, and covering of all areas of food science and health in over 550 articles, with extensive cross-referencing and further reading at the end of each chapter, this updated encyclopedia is an invaluable resource for both research and educational needs. Key Features: Identifies the essential nutrients and how to avoid their deficiencies. Explores the use of diet to reduce disease risk and optimize health. Compiles methods for detection and quantitation of food constituents, food additives and nutrients, and contaminants. Contains coverage of all areas of food science and health in nearly 700 articles, with extensive cross-referencing and further reading at the end of each chapter.
Article
Combining the study of food culture with gender studies and using perspectives from historical, literary, environmental, and American studies, Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt examines what southern women's choices about food tell us about race, class, gender, and social power. Shaken by the legacies of Reconstruction and the turmoil of the Jim Crow era, different races and classes came together in the kitchen, often as servants and mistresses but also as people with shared tastes and traditions. Generally focused on elite whites or poor blacks, southern foodways are often portrayed as stable and unchanging-even as an untroubled source of nostalgia. A Mess of Greens offers a different perspective, taking into account industrialization, environmental degradation, and women's increased role in the work force, all of which caused massive economic and social changes. Engelhardt reveals a broad middle of southerners that included poor whites, farm families, and middle and working-class African Americans, for whom the stakes of what counted as southern food were very high. Five "moments" in the story of southern food-moonshine, biscuits versus cornbread, girls' tomato clubs, pellagra as depicted in mill literature, and cookbooks as means of communication-have been chosen to illuminate the connectedness of food, gender, and place. Incorporating community cookbooks, letters, diaries, and other archival materials, A Mess of Greens shows that choosing to serve cold biscuits instead of hot cornbread could affect a family's reputation for being hygienic, moral, educated, and even godly. © 2011 by the University of Georgia Press. All rights reserved.
Article
Scattered throughout the city of Toronto are more than no community gardens, sites of place-based politics connected to the community food-security movement. The gardens, spaces where passions for plants and food are shared, reflect the city's shifting cultural landscape and represent an everyday activity that is imbued with multiple meanings. Toronto's community food-security movement uses gardens as one strategy to regenerate the local food system and provide access to healthy, affordable food. Three garden case studies expand on the complexities of “food citizenship,” illustrating the importance of that concept to notions of food security. The gardens reveal the role gardeners play in transforming urban spaces, the complex network of organizations working cooperatively and in partnership to implement these projects, and the way in which social and cultural pluralism are shaping the urban landscape.
Article
There is insufficient research on the direct effects of food advertising on children's diet and diet-related health, particularly in non-experimental settings. We employ a nationally-representative sample from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) and the Nielsen Company data on spot television advertising of cereals, fast food restaurants and soft drinks to children across the top 55 designated-market areas to estimate the relation between exposure to food advertising on television and children's food consumption and body weight. Our results suggest that soft drink and fast food television advertising is associated with increased consumption of soft drinks and fast food among elementary school children (Grade 5). Exposure to 100 incremental TV ads for sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks during 2002-2004 was associated with a 9.4% rise in children's consumption of soft drinks in 2004. The same increase in exposure to fast food advertising was associated with a 1.1% rise in children's consumption of fast food. There was no detectable link between advertising exposure and average body weight, but fast food advertising was significantly associated with body mass index for overweight and obese children (≥85th BMI percentile), revealing detectable effects for a vulnerable group of children. Exposure to advertising for calorie-dense nutrient-poor foods may increase overall consumption of unhealthy food categories.
Article
Health advocates have focused on the prevalence of advertising for calorie-dense low-nutrient foods as a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic. This research tests the hypothesis that exposure to food advertising during TV viewing may also contribute to obesity by triggering automatic snacking of available food. In Experiments 1a and 1b, elementary-school-age children watched a cartoon that contained either food advertising or advertising for other products and received a snack while watching. In Experiment 2, adults watched a TV program that included food advertising that promoted snacking and/or fun product benefits, food advertising that promoted nutrition benefits, or no food advertising. The adults then tasted and evaluated a range of healthy to unhealthy snack foods in an apparently separate experiment. Amount of snack foods consumed during and after advertising exposure. Children consumed 45% more when exposed to food advertising. Adults consumed more of both healthy and unhealthy snack foods following exposure to snack food advertising compared to the other conditions. In both experiments, food advertising increased consumption of products not in the presented advertisements, and these effects were not related to reported hunger or other conscious influences. These experiments demonstrate the power of food advertising to prime automatic eating behaviors and thus influence far more than brand preference alone.
A Tastier Taco, and the Quest to Make Israelis Love Mexican Cuisine
  • Dafna Arad
Arad, Dafna (2012). "A Tastier Taco, and the Quest to Make Israelis Love Mexican Cuisine." Ha'aretz. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/a-tastier-taco-and-thequest-to-make-israelis-love-mexican-cuisine.premium-1.473204 (accessed October 9, 2016).
The Geographical Distribution of Supermarket Chains in Israel
  • Bar Tzuri
Bar Tzuri, Roni (2013). "The Geographical Distribution of Supermarket Chains in Israel." in Jerusalem: Ministry of Finance. 1-24. (in Hebrew).
Israel's TV tax to end in 2015
  • Aron Dónzis
Dónzis, Aron (March 6, 2014). "Israel's TV tax to end in 2015." Times of Israel. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-tv-tax-to-end-in-2015/
Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert: Norteo Cooking of South Texas
  • Melissa Guerra
Guerra, Melissa (2006). Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert: Norteo Cooking of South Texas. NY: Wiley.
Israel's Neighborhood Groceries Make a Comeback
  • Michal Raz-Chaimovich
Raz-Chaimovich, Michal (2016). "Israel's Neighborhood Groceries Make a Comeback." Globes. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-neighborhoodgrocery-stores-make-a-comeback-1001099058 (accessed October 10, 2016).
10 Things That Make Israeli Grocery Stores Unique
  • Yasmine Shemesh
Shemesh, Yasmine (2015). "10 Things That Make Israeli Grocery Stores Unique." Ha'aretz. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/food/1.661149 (accessed October 10, 2016).