Girl Meets Gastronomy

This fall I began the MLA in Gastronomy program at Boston University.

No, I did not mean to type astronomy.

No, I am not getting an advanced degree in stomachs (at least, not exactly…)

So what is Gastronomy? In Slow Food Nation, Carlo Petrini defines Gastronomy as “the reasoned knowledge of everything that concerns man as he eats.” Throughout the book, Petrini goes on to discuss the importance of an education in food culture and foodways, and how gastronomy is an important tool when looking for ways to reform the current food system.

And that’s exactly what I hope to get out of this program. My concentration for the program is in Food Policy, and my classes this semester are The Anthropology of Food (which focuses on looking at food from an Anthropologist’s perspective) and Food Systems and Food Policy (which focuses on the different approaches to world hunger and other food systems related issues).

I hope to use this greater understanding of food and American foodways to build on my nutrition background. My goal is to make nutritious foods both more accessible and more appealing, and hopefully improve the health of Americans in the process. The ambitions of my classmates include everything from cookbook editing and food trend spotting to teaching college and reforming school lunches. We’re a lively and diverse bunch!

I plan to use this blog to:

  • Chronicle my adventures in the Gastronomy Program
  • Share my experiences exploring the New England food world
  • Share my nutrition expertise and opinions
  • Post the occasional recipe

For those of you that would like to learn more:

  • This NY Times article nicely sums up the rising interest in food studies and how an in depth perspective on the food system can be beneficial when trying to improve the overall nutrition of the population.
  • The BU Gastronomy Student Blog showcases what is happening in the program.
  • The BU website also has information on the MLA in Gastronomy Program.



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