LAS 405 Sabores de México: From Farm to Table

Mexico has one of the world’s most accomplished food heritages. Many people in the U.S. are unaware that in ancient times the country’s native peoples domesticated many important food crops that are of great importance today: corn, tomato, avocado, squash, pinto beans, and cacao (chocolate), to name a few. As in other countries, Mexican food is not an incidental component of life, but an essential part of how Mexico is structured; what people eat represents a confluence of power, culture, technology, and taste. In this course, we take a critical look at Mexican food production, processing, and consumption through a political ecology approach that includes an examination of important historical developments that provide context to more contemporary processes. These include Mexico’s Green Revolution; the impact of globalization and new conceptualizations of food; the North American Free Trade Agreement; and migration in and out of Mexico. This course includes a 10-day optional field trip to Oaxaca, Mexico during the spring break for 1 extra credit. In combination with field activities, the course will also include a section on qualitative methods for the study of food.