Smelling memories

In my readings this week, I switched topics somewhat. I am now reading the book called Consuming Passions. This book is more like short stories of people’s personal experiences with food. As we discussed in seminar this week, people interact differently with each other when they are in different spaces. I never really thought of us interacting differently, but it is so true. The way I interact with people in a classroom versus my kitchen are totally different because of the space and the vibe. I believe people interact with food and have different connotations with it, because of specific memories they hold with it. For example a lot of people like white rice, it is somewhat of a staple for many.  To me white rice is disgusting because I link it with specific memories to when I was a child and it reminds me of certain things. When I taste it I just remember my parents trying to force me to eat it as a child and I hated the taste. Even though my taste buds have radically changed since I was a child I still can’t stand the taste of white basmati rice. When people link places to a specific taste or smell it is called a sensory memory, something they can feel and taste. Sometime I will smell a certain smell and have intense de ja vu, but not be able to link the smell to the memory. Our brains hold so many thoughts, memories, and knowledge I can imagine it would be hard to link all our memories back to a specific point. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area that is associated closely with memory and feeling. Smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously. The olfactory bulb has close access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is accountable for associative learning. Even though brains work in a very specific way, smells would not trigger memories if it weren’t for . When you first smell a new scent, you link it to an event, a person, a thing or even a moment.

Consuming passions

In my readings this week, I switched topics somewhat. I am now reading the book called Consuming Passions. This book is more like short stories of people’s personal experiences with food. As we discussed in seminar this week, people interact differently with each other when they are in different spaces. I never really thought of us interacting differently, but it is so true. The way I interact with people in  classroom versus my kitchen are totally different because of the space and the vibe. I believe people interact with food and have different connotations with it, because of specific memories they hold with it. For example a lot of people like white rice, it is somewhat of a staple for many.  To me white rice is disgusting because I link it with specific memories to when I was a child and it reminds me of certain things. When I taste it I just remember my parents trying to force me to eat it as a child and I HATED the taste. Even though my taste buds have radically changed since I was a child I still can’t stand the taste of white basmati rice. In Consuming Passions it tells stories of people and integrates recipes into it.  I enjoy this book quite a bit and its very similar to Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. When I finish this book by Friday I plan to cook a recipe out of it!

Naked

There is  lot of stereotyping around sexuality and gender roles. I think that women are made out to be more delicate and fragile then they actually are. Society puts this filter in our brains that women can only do certain things and should only look a certain way. It is impounded into everyone’s head so severely that most everyone buys into it, but are we really so dense that we let others ideas control our own feelings? When I photographed the women holding a cake I didn’t realize I was maybe playing into that gender role a little bit. Why did the woman I used have a alluring physic? Why did I choose a woman in the first place? If there was a naked man in the kitchen, what would people’s reactions be? I think that women’s bodies are (for some reason) not as shocking to see naked.

bright colors

This week when I was photographing I had this crazy idea that I should incorporate water. Seems simple enough, huh? Water adds a freshness to food and creates the idea that it was recently picked. I think a lot of advertising companies use it just for that reason. If people are buying something that gives off the illusion that it is fresh and good for you, they are more apt to buy it. For example, I personally would much rather buy blueberries bouncing around in water than dried up ones on cardboard. I would like to understand and explore the ideas of marketing strategies when it comes to food advertisement. Questions like what appeals to people and how do they appeal to the human population as a whole when our idea’s vary from our personal preferences and identities? Obviously everything isn’t going to look good to everyone, but mass appeal is something that corporations take largely into account. Bright colors are used to grab peoples eyes and attention to a specific thing. Maybe in the next few weeks I will use brighter colors as well.

 

Dinner for one?

As I am sitting at my kitchen table, I am observing one of my roommates eating habits. She made a sandwich consisting of salami, 2 fried eggs, pesto, cheese, cheese, and bacon. She chats with me idly about the previous nights events. It’s interesting how when humans eat they usually want to chat or fill the empty space with some sort of noise, like t.v., radio, or music. I wonder why people struggle to be alone while they are eating? A lot of people struggle being alone all the time, but I know a lot of instances where it is meals that really get people feeling down. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to deny the feeling of being alone until you are faced with only yourself and you can’t deny what is reality any longer. Maybe it is simply the fact that you have no one to share your meal with. Sometimes I purposely seclude myself from friends during meals so I can observe my own feelings during this time. Even though I thoroughly enjoy eating alone sometimes, I can feel myself becoming a little less enthused. When I was a teenager we had family dinners every day and I was never allowed to watch television while eating. When I was left to my own devices for dinner that was ALL I would do. There was no question, I would sit myself in front of the T.v. with a big late of microwave nachos, and I was in complete bliss. I think as you get older it is easy to be more receptive of being alone and maybe not have a choice about it.

Putting pre-conceptions aside

In doing my readings for class,  I find it hard to wrap my mind around some of the topics being discussed. The book is called Women’s Conflicts about Eating and Sexuality.  Some of the preconceptions about women are so off, it’s astounding. Even I, as a woman had preconceptions that are totally false. I learned that over 2 million women suffer from eating disorders in the extreme. This number in NOT counting the millions of other women that are obsessed with food, hunger, and deprivation. Many self esteem issues revolve around weight and being accepted. As bad as it sounds, to be socially accepted in The United States these days, their is a “thin” ideal that people think women should live up to. Everyday in magazines, on T.V., and in advertisements everywhere you see unrealistically think women with unmarked bodies. These bodies are not realist at all. Every woman has a few marks or a bit of flab. Human’s have created this image of a “perfect” woman that no one can reach. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder so it is impossible to have an image that is perfect for everyone. My question is, why thin in considered more beautiful than other body types? And why are larger body types referred to a “disgusting” or “unappealing”?

The fear of becoming fat and “losing control” is something that women try to avoid at all cost. There is this idea that if you are larger than “normal” then you will be undesirable and unlovable. The thought that being physically alluring will guarantee love and acceptance is strange, and I wonder how this thought came to be? Being deprived of food is a choice that a lot of women choose over being satiated by what they want. They restrict their bodies from what it craves, therefor sealing the fate of being skinny just as long as they remain in starvation. What an interesting trade off, don’t you think? Food for love. Either or, not both, but why?

What do YOU see?

When you see this image, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?

Good morning good people

It is Monday morning, and we are setting up our word press sights in the library. There will be many posts about what I am working on in class, what I am working on in life, and all the middle ground in between. I will have a lot of thoughts on the readings that I am doing and I will also be posting photo’s that I have taken with either my K1000 35mm Pentax film camera or my Canon Rebel (XS).