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Food and the Internet

Proceedings of the 20 th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Department of Folklore and Ethnology, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Łodź, Poland, 3–6 September 2014

Edited By Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska and Patricia Lysaght

Discourses about food, especially on social media, affect the dietary choices of many people on a daily basis all over the world. In recognition of this phenomenon, the selection of 25 ethnological essays in this volume explores the effects of the digital age on post-modern food culture. It examines the influence of the Internet as a provider of a seemingly limitless flow of information and discourse about food sources, production, distribution and consumption. It also analyses the attitudes towards food in the context of ecological, environmental, ethical, health, and everyday lifestyle issues – at local, regional and global levels.
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This volume presents a selection of the papers delivered during the 20th SIEF Conference of the International Ethnological Food Research Group. This jubilee meeting was titled Food and The Internet, and ran from 3 to 6 September 2014, in Łódź, Poland.

The meeting commemorated the 6th International Ethnological Food Research Conference held in Poland in 1985, as well as the 50th anniversary of Société Internationale d’Ethnologie et de Folklore. The conference was chaired by Professor Dr. Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska – a member of SIEF since its inaugural congress in Paris in 1971 – on behalf of the host institution, the Department of Ethnology and Folklore, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Łódź.

The aim of the conference was to discuss the phenomenon of food culture in the age of globalisation and the spread of computer technology. The digital revolution has opened up a new cultural sphere and new modes and styles of communication from person to person and between people and institutions. Nowadays, post-modern and web-entangled humans use the Internet to overcome the boundaries of their local and inherited traditions. One result of this is that contemporary food culture, in many western and westernised countries, is influenced by trans-cultural food knowledge, global marketing and advertising, new behavioral patterns, eating habits, and ways with food. The benefits of this brave new digital world are still unavailable to most of the world’s population, but coverage is increasing rapidly.

The Łódź meeting provided an opportunity...

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