Now I like food as much as the next guy.  I mean, it keeps us alive, it’s delicious, and it carries great social significance.  The ceremonies we surround food with are generally pretty fun: this morning was Saramin’s annual spring brunch, and she made a fantastic spread of delicious things.  We ate a lot, and talked about things like the nonexistence of time, which is one of my favorites.  One dance department alum told me about a freaky neurological study that involved showing volunteers a series of images, and then isolating one to be shown at the end — it turns out there is a brain activity spike when the isolated image was viewed, but not at the end, rather, when the volunteers saw the image within the series.  (If anyone has any more information on this study, I’d love to see it.)

I digress.  Anyway I was enjoying my dinner of goat cheese and bread and thinking about how much time we spend in our lives considering food.  And consider the following: Peri probably reads as many food blogs as she does news blogs; and a Google search for “philosophy of food” turns up surprisingly many results.  Sink your teeth into this short article to start with.

To be perfectly fair, I think philosophy of food makes a lot of sense, especially now.  A lot of the points that are raised by Iggers in that article are pretty fair — food has become more important to human beings as a subject of thought.  Take the Slow Food movement, for example.  I can get on board with it, too, except for maybe the genetic engineering thing.  We’re spending more and more time thinking about the ethics and aesthetics of what we eat.

I’m not going to lie, I do think a lot about what I’m eating.  I tend to go out of my way for locally grown produce, dairy and meat, for example.  Moreover, in a culture so obsessed with body image (and as an individual particularly obsessed with body image) it’s hard not to think about what you eat on a daily basis, and what it might be doing to your body.

But in addition to ethics, I do think about food aesthetics a lot, too.  Peri and I actually have a vague kind of plan to go to New York City and eat at as many upscale and experimental restaurants as our budgets and itinerary allow.  I’m particularly intrigued by the practitioners of molecular gastronomy: a bunch of people who think very (maybe too) much about food.

Does anybody know anyone who’s done any work specifically on the philosophy of food?  I located this charmingly outdated website for a group of philosophers — aestheticists and ethicists, of course — specifically interested in philosophy of food.  Anything else out there I ought to check out?

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