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Consuming the Inedible
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"...contains fascinating material on the social, political, nutritional, and evolutionary aspects of human food choice...Scholars and students in food studies will find Consuming the Inedible useful for its variety of approaches to 'unusual' eating practices, and several of the chapters should also find their way onto reading lists for courses in the anthropology of food." * JRAI Throughout the world, everyday, millions of people eat earth, clay, nasal mucus, and similar substances. Yet food practices like these are strikingly understudied in a sustained, interdisciplinary manner. This book aims to correct this neglect. Contributors, utilizing anthropological, nutritional, biochemical, psychological and health-related perspectives, examine in a rigorously comparative manner the consumption of foods conventionally regarded as inedible by most Westerners. This book is both timely and significant because nutritionists and health care professionals are seldom aware of anthropological information on these food practices, and vice versa. Ranging across a diversity of disciplines Consuming the Inedible surveys scientific and local views about the consequences--biological, mineral, social or spiritual--of these food practices, and probes to what extent we can generalize about them. Jeremy M. MacClancy is Professor of Anthropology, C. Jeya Henry is Professor of Nutrition and Helen M. Macbeth is an Honorary Research Fellow in Anthropology, all at Oxford Brookes University.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Preface List of Contributors Introduction: Considering the Inedible, Consuming the Ineffable Jeremy MacClancy, Helen Macbeth and Jeya Henry Chapter 1. Evidence for the Consumption of the Inedible: Who, What, When, Where and Why? Sera L.Young Chapter 2. Consuming the Inedible: Pica Behaviour Carmen Strungaru Chapter 3. The Concepts of Food and Non-food: Perspectives from Spain Isabel Gonzalez Turmo Chapter 4. Food Definitions and Boundaries: Eating Constraints and Human Identities Ellen Messer Chapter 5. A Vile Habit? The Potential Biological Consequences of Geophagia, with Special Attention to Iron Sera L. Young Chapter 6. The Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: A Reflective Journey Back in Time Ananda S. Prasad Chapter 7. Geophagia and Human Nutrition Peter Hooda and Jeya Henry Chapter 8. Consumption of Materials with Low Nutritional Value and Bioactive Properties: Non-human Primates vs Humans Sabrina Krief Chapter 9. Lime as the Key Element: A "Non-food" in Food for Subsistence Ricardo vila, Martin Tena and Peter Hubbard Chapter 10. Salt as a "Non-food": To What Extent Do Gustatory Perceptions Determine Non-food vs Food Choices? Claude Marcel Hladik Chapter 11. Non-food Food During Famine: The Athens Famine Survivor Project Antonia-Leda Matalas and Louis E. Grivetti Chapter 12. Eating Garbage: Socially Marginal Food Provisioning Practices Rachel Black Chapter 13. Eating Cat in the North of Spain in the Early Twentieth Century F. Xavier Medina Chapter 14. Insects: Forgotten and Rediscovered as Food. Entomophagy among the Eipo, Highlands of West New Guinea, and in Other Traditional Societies Wulf Schiefenhovel and Paul Blum Chapter 15. Eating Snot: Socially Unacceptable but Common. Why? Maria Jesus Portalatin Chapter 16. Cannibalism: No Myth, but Why So Rare? Helen Macbeth, Wulf Schiefenhovel and Paul Collinson Chapter 17. From Edible to Inedible: Social Construction, Family Socialisation and Upbringing Luis Cantarero Chapter 18. The Use of Waste Products in the Fermentation of Alcoholic Beverages Rodolfo Fernandez and Daria Deraga Afterword: Earthy Realism: Geophagia in Literature and Art Jeremy MacClancy Index

About the Author

Jeremy M. MacClancy is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Anthropology Department, Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Consuming Culture, and prize-winning investigator of Basque cuisine. Jeya Henry is Professor of Human Nutrition at the School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, and Visting Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was a board member of the UK Food Standards agency between 2000- 2003 and has published extensively on energy regulation and obesity. Helen Macbeth is Chair of ICAF (UK) and Honorary Research Fellow at the Anthropology Department, Oxford Brookes University.

Reviews

"...contains fascinating material on the social, political, nutritional, and evolutionary aspects of human food choice. Scholars and students in food studies will find Consuming the Inedible useful for its variety of approaches to 'unusual' eating practices, and several of the chapters should also find their way onto reading lists for courses in the anthropology of food." * JRAI

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