Episode 16 Free Food in the Corporate World with Jesse Dart

Anthropologist on the Street
Anthropologist on the Street
Episode 16 Free Food in the Corporate World with Jesse Dart

Anthropology Candidate Jesse Dart (Photo Courtesy of Mr. Dart)

Anthropology Candidate Jesse Dart works at the intersection of business anthropology and the anthropology of food. Mr. Dart researches how and why tech companies offer their employees free food. Looking at the same company’s practices in several different countries, he draws out how patterns of eating reflect regional cultural beliefs about labor, land, and tradition, and how corporate practices both reflect and reinscribe these ideas as well.

Just in time for American Thanksgiving, we discuss how food is tied to ritual, emotion, identity, and history. From local wisdom about specific foods like truffles to the deeply embedded symbols and practices of national holidays like American Thanksgiving dinner, food plays a unique role in our lives that extends well beyond simple nutrition. And just like the Thanksgiving parade and Black Friday shopping reinforce the central role business and capitalism have on our lives, so too do our workplaces shift our practices and views.

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For more information on Jesse Dart:

Mr. Dart’s University Webpage: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/staff/profiles/jesse.dart.794.php

Mr. Dart’s Personal Webpage, featuring his photography and writings: Http://jessedart.com

For more information on materials referenced in our conversation:

Association for the Study of Food and Society, which is updated regularly with conferences and journal articles: http://www.food-culture.org/

Society for the Study of Food and Nutrition

Secrets from the Greek Kitchen: Cooking, Skill, and Everyday Life on an Aegean Island (California Studies in Food and Culture)

Everyone Eats: Understanding Food and Culture, Second Edition

Food and Culture: A Reader


(Photo Courtesy of Mr. Dart)


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