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Food, Space, and Place in a Global Society

Edited By Carlnita P. Greene

Foodscapes explores the nexus of food, drink, space, and place, both locally and globally. Multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary in scope, scholars consider the manifold experiences that we have when engaging with food, drink, space, and place. They offer a wide array of theories, methods, and perspectives, which can be used as lenses for analyzing these interconnections, throughout each chapter. Scholars interrogate our practices and behaviors with food within spaces and places, analyze the meanings that we create about these entities, and demonstrate their wider cultural, political, social, economic, and material implications.

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5. Food at School (Michael S. Bruner / Elizabeth Phillips)


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5.  Food at School


This chapter explores the intersection of food and place in one of the most important public spaces in the lives of children and youth—school. From the simple standpoint of time invested, school is a dominant place in the lives of children and youth. In the United States, many students commit twelve years of their lives (K–12) to formal education. Each year students in the USA are at school for an average of six hours per day for 180 days.1 Furthermore, according to the World Food Programme, “Nearly all countries around the world have a school meals programme and about 368 million children from kindergarten to secondary school receive food at school every day.”2 All around the world, food and school are inter-connected in time and space.

Beyond days, hours, and minutes, food and school are inter-connected in other meaningful ways. School is the site of potentially significant and memorable activities. Bill Honig, writing about the goals of public education for Building Better Schools, asserts that public education plays a vital role “in promoting democracy, developing well-rounded individuals,” and job preparation/career readiness.3 At a conscious level, at school students learn about food in classes on agriculture, economics, and nutrition. At a less conscious level, students learn about food through observing food practices and eating with others. Via symbolic influence processes, students come to make certain associations...

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