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This issue of Sight and Life magazine focuses on food culture and we have curated contributions that explore the social and cultural domains of food choices and food experiences more broadly. We acknowledge that this is only part of the story. We promise to explore cognition (psychology, brain) and biology (evolution, genes, biochemistry) – factors that also drive food choices – in a future issue of the magazine. For some of our readers trained in biology or chemistry, culture may seem a fuzzy, perhaps non-scientific, topic. Be assured, however, that culture is as much part of nutrition as are biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and genes, and there is a rich body of research on nutrition and culture. 

Food, culture, and nutrition science

The Oxford English Dictionary defines culture as the beliefs, values, practices, social forms, and material traits of social groups. So when we speak of food and culture or of food culture, what we are examining are the shared values, beliefs, and practices that guide the food choices of a group of people. The cultural perspective is especially useful when seeking to understand the multiple factors that affect eating, such as food availability, food purchases, meal preparation or meal selection, and the eating environment. As the late Professor Hans Rosling said,

“Scientists want to do good, but the problem is that they don’t understand the world.” 

Please enjoy perusing this issue of Sight and Life magazine with a curious mind, with a view to learning more about how a cultural perspective can enrich your nutrition research and programs.

Download the Full Edition HERE


Infographic: Prevalence of Prelacteal Feeding Across the World

Food for Thought

To WASH or Not to WASH

Research-Based Evidence

The Social Marketing of Micronutrient Powder in Sudan
Market-Based Sales of Nutritional Products in Low-Income Settings

Perspectives in Nutrition Science

Beyond Nutrition: Eating, Innovation, and Cultures of Possibility
Consumer Insight for Improved Nutrition
The Mother-Child Food Relationship in the Study of Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices

Special Features

Wanting More

The Bigger Picture

Gretel Pelto: A Life in Nutrition


Kenneth Carpenter

Congress Reports

Third Hidden Hunger Congress in Stuttgart, Germany
Vitamin Angels Presents Innovative Model at Micronutrient Forum Conference

Field Reports

Nutrition and School Performance
Evaluation of the MNP Pilot Intervention in Kwazulu-Natal, SA
A Farm Grows in a Brick City
Strengthening Community-Based Nutrition Programs with Mobile Technology
Applying Consumer Research to Microfranchising in South Africa
School-Based Strategies for Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (NWASH)


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