Food Culture

The Food Culture section of Poverty Food will provide resources on food and cuisine beyond the kitchen and dinner table. Culture, politics, the arts have all been impacted by food culture. Enjoy the links and please send those you find to us to share.

Cuisines of poverty as means of empowerment: Arab food in Israel by  Liora Gvion


This paper suggests looking at cuisines of poverty as practical and political systems practiced by urban and rural Palestinian citizens of Israel. It is an important and interesting case study within which political and economical considerations govern and enhance the development, change, and acceptance of culinary knowledge. Cuisines of poverty operate in two simultaneous arenas. As systems of practical knowledge, they repeatedly center on the ability to maintain the traditional kitchen, turning it into a tool-kit out of which information is recruited upon need. Simultaneously, cuisines of poverty reveal the inter-connection between the culinary discourse and the political one. It is where issues such as access to land, national and ethnic identity, and means to participation in the dominant culture are of major concern. The analysis of cuisines as operating on two complementary discourses contributes to the understanding of the relationship between food and the arena of power.

Keywords Cuisines of poverty - Domestic knowledge - Empowerment - Food - Gender roles - Israel - Minorities - Palestinian cuisine

Liora Gvion, PhD, is a qualitative sociologist. She studied at SUNY Stony Brook, USA and is currently a senior lecturer at the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv, Israel and at the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the Hebrew University. Her major interests are the sociology of food, second-generation immigrants, eating disorders, and the relationship between food and ethnicity.