Evolution of Eating Project

Food has played a key role in human prehistory & history. Food availability ? and decisions about whatto eat & how ? have shaped our social identities & our development as Homo sapiens. Given thecentrality of food to human survival, the aim of this paper is to focus your attention on the food-gatheringbehaviors & diet of our ancestors in contrast to your foraging & eating practices. More specifically, thepaper requires you to (1) keep a detailed 5-day food diary & (2) compare/contrast your diet with the foodintake of the hominins of 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.Youll then write a paper on your findingsaccording to the directions below. Please note that your grade doesnt depend on what you eat but onfollowing this handouts guidelines.Part I will be the five-day food diary, which, ideally, will include a weekend day, when you have time tobe more selective about what you eat. The format can be a day-by-day chart or spreadsheet that recordsnot only EVERYTHING you ate & drank (including all the ingredients in your cereal or pizza, forexample), but where you obtained the food (e.g., supermarket? friends house? ), portion sizes (e.g., largecoke, 3 fried eggs), when you ate it (e.g., early a.m.?), in what setting (e.g., walking on street? in car?)and whether or not you had dining companions with whom you shared your food. For one meal asubstantial one find out the origins of your food (e.g., where was it grown? how was it processed?What route did it take to get your plate?) Do this by asking vendors, supermarket or restaurant employees,restaurant owners, etc. Expect that some will be unhelpful. Document their reactions & write a fewsentences describing their responses to show that youve done this ethnographic part of the project. Notethat ethnography requires that you talk face-to-face with another human.Part II will be a 4-5 page analysis of the differences between your diet, foraging & eating practices &what youve learned about earlier hominins diet & eating practices. The first one & a half to two pagesshould be a summary, based on recommended readings, class lectures & handouts, of hominin foraging &eating behaviors. The focus can be on the last 10,000 to 12,000 years, when the Agricultural Revolutionbegan. Or, you may want to discuss a longer period of pre-history, from the beginnings of an increase inmeat-eating among hominins about 1.8 mya. The next pages should discuss, comparatively, your diet &dining practices over the 5 days; how you obtained your food & the social settings in which you ate it. Itwill also make for a more interesting paper if you report on any culinary traditions that persist in yourfamily. What type of food did your grandparents/parents prepare & eat 50 or so years ago? Did they (ordo they) grow any of their food? Are your parents/grandparents nostalgic for the foods of their childhoodsor do they prefer the convenience of Safeway, Lucky, Trader Joes and other large stores?Please also answer these questions: if you needed to walk to find a food source, how far would you haveto go and what would you buy? Is fresh produce available within walking distance? Are there any foodsthat you eat that you could never give up? If you feel a strong identification with a particular group, arethere foods that define you as a member of that group? Do you think its unfortunate or a sign of progressthat many of us consume highly-processed foods that can be stored for a year or more and require onlyminutes to prepare?

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