Food Studies has now emerged as a recognized discipline within academia. It is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, drawing from a number of sources for theories and methods. The Center for Food and Culture takes a humanities approach to food, emphasizing the meanings and meaningfulness of food and the ways in which understanding those meanings can contribute to better understanding why, what, and how we eat.
This approach encourages us to examine the basic idea of food. What defines whether or not something is considered edible? How does taste develop? What does the history of food have to do with what we eat today? What does it mean when people use the famous quote by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826, “we are what we eat?” We can start by defining some basic terms and concepts, such as food, foodways, food culture, cuisine, and so on.