CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will host a symposium April 9-11 that will examine the cultural and historical aspects of food.

The three-day conference will look at food trends, the food habits of different populations of people, social influences on food, and numerous other factors which influence what we eat - and what others have eaten throughout history.

Sponsored by the College of Home Economics and Education at OSU and the Department of Nutrition and Food Management, the conference will be held in the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center at Oregon State. The conference has a registration fee of $125.

Aimed at professionals in a variety of disciplines relating to food, the conference will feature a number of invited speakers and presented papers.

Rachel Laudan, an author from Mexico, will speak on "A World of Inauthentic Food." She is a recipient of the Sophie Coe Prize for Food History at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, and author of "Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Cultural Heritage."

Dave Lundahl, of the Oregon Food Innovation Center in Portland, will look at how people develop and define food preferences in his talk, "Measuring Food Preferences World Wide."

Mina McDaniel, a professor of food science and technology at OSU, will present "The Case Study of Asian Noodles." An internationally known sensory expert, she will discuss different types of Asian noodles and how they have been developed into food products.

Jeffery Sobal, an author and professor at Cornell University, will speak on "Social Change and Food Ways," a talk that will look at how modernization, urbanization, migration and acculturation has affected food and nutrition. His talk, Friday at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Jacqueline Newman, editor-in-chief of Flavor and Fortune magazine and a professor at Queen's College in New York, will speak on "Chinese Food Habits in the United States - Wok's Cooking." She has written a number of books on the subject.

Louis Grivetti, a professor at the University of California, Davis, will speak on "Classic American Foods: A Cultural-Historical Retrospective."

A banquet will be held on Saturday, April 10, to honor OSU faculty member Mary Wallace Kelsey, who is retiring from the university this year after more than 40 years.

Edward Wood, who travels for Sourdoughs International and is an expert on sour doughs, will speak on at the banquet on the topic, "Sour Doughs: From Antiquity to Today to Tomorrow."

A number of papers will also be presented at the conference. Among the interesting topics are:


  • "Fur Traders' Fare."
  • "The Bachelor Dinner: Masculinity, Domesticity and Food Practices in Playboy, 1953-63."
  • "What is the Flavor of Human Flesh?"
  • "Food and Culture in a Post-Colonial Society."
  • "You Eat What You Are? Social Identity and Food Among American College Students."

For more information on the conference, call 541-737-3561, or visit the conference web site at:

The Oregon Association of Family and Consumer Sciences will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the symposium. Among the topics explored at the meeting will be food preferences worldwide, changes in standards for teaching family and consumer studies in public schools, cross-cultural influences on textiles and clothing, and safe and earth-friendly building materials for homes.

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ZoeAnn Holmes, 541-737-0967