Historically, human beings are passing through an unprecedented agricultural and culinary epoch. Food production in the modern era is controlled by a mere one percent of the global population; this is quite an incredible feat considering that over the past 10,000 years the majority of the global population was involved with the production of food. Traditionally speaking, food and food culture passed on cultural genetic components to the next generation. Quite obviously, every society on the planet has eaten particular diets in order to survive and pass on its genetic makeup; historically, geographic location and the social-spiritual practices of those societies determined the diets of these societies.
Within Trinidadian society as it exists today, there are a variety of cultural legacies at work influencing epistemology, language, religious practice, and attitude on a day to day basis that can be seen through English, French, and Spanish colonial history. Culinary practices of modern Trinidad can be traced along these colonial lines and illuminate a variety of different, yet blended cultural narratives that are characteristic of not just Trinidadian cultural productions but of any group that has a mixed colonial past.
Regardless of the person or what geographic space they inhabit, food cannot be divorced from human life. The need to eat and gain energy transcends class, gender, race, sexuality, and physical ability. Food has the potential to connect, energize, and mobilize individuals, societies, and economies both locally and globally across time and space. Without it, society perishes as cultural productions, that once guided entire societies and peoples by uniting ideologies either subtly or explicitly, fade or become crowded out of minds, bodies, and spaces.
These are just some of the issues that I will be writing about when I return from Trinidad, and I look forward to sharing some more of my findings in the coming week! Remember, if you have any questions about study abroad or anything else, please feel free to contact me! Cheers.