Food, Technology and Translocal Transformations of Taste: Industrial and Processed Food in Yucatán
Translocality as originally used by Arjun Appadurai was an evocative concept that appealed immediately to anthropologists and others who study global-local connections. Its use has been widely adopted in religious studies, music studies, migration studies and food studies, but it has continued to be rather undefined, which makes it difficult to apply to local data. Here, from the study of local food and gastronomy in the Mexican state of Yucatán, I investigate how translocality can help us look at the global in the local and the local in the global. I propose that when it comes to studying food and gastronomy in the Yucatán, translocality can help us understand the ways in which industrialization, which became both a production model and a way of life in the United States and Europe at the end of the nineteenth century, rapidly extended to food everywhere, and Yucatecans fondly took to the consumption of industrially produced and processed foods, incorporating them into the local gastronomy. The results, in terms of taste, have been extensive but are not particular to the Yucatán, since food and gastronomy everywhere have been impacted in similar ways. However, when we analyze the changes in local dishes and preparations, we can see how ubiquitous industrialized food has become and how it has affected the particular configurations of ingredients in Yucatecan cuisine.
Food; technology; translocality; taste; Processed food
Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large. Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
Arnot, Charlie. Size Matters: Why We Love to Hate Big Food. Springer, 2018.
Augé, Marc. Por una antropología de la movilidad. Gedisa, 2007.
Ayora-Diaz, Steffan Igor. Foodscapes, Foodfields and Identities in Yucatán. CEDLA-Berghahn, 2012.
Bak-Geller Corona, Sarah. “Gastronomy and the Origins of Republicanism in Mexico.” Taste, Politics, and Identities in Mexican Food. Edited by Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. Pp. 39-50.
Blythman, Joanne. Swallow This. Serving Up the Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets. Fourth Estate, 2015.
Castells, Manuel. The Rise of Network Society. Blackwell, 2000.
Collins, Ted. “The North American Influence on Food Manufacturing in Britain, 1880-1939.” Exploring the Food Chain: Food Production and Food Processing in Western Europe, 1850-1990. Edited by Yves Seger, Jan Bieleman, and Erik Buyst. Brepols, 2009, pp. 153-175.
Edelman, Marc. Peasants Against Globalization: Rural Social Movements in Costa Rica. Stanford UP, 1999.
Ettlinger, Steve. Twinkie, Deconstructed. My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats. Hudson Street Press, 2007.
Ferguson, Priscilla Parkhurst. Accounting for Taste. The Triumph of French Cuisine. University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Foster, Robert J. Coca-Globalization. Following Soft Drinks from New York to New Guinea. Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
Friedman, Jonathan. Cultural Identity and Global Process. Sage, 1994.
Laudan, Rachel. “A Plea for Culinary Modernism: Why We Should Love New, Fast, Processed Food.” Gastronomica, vol. 1, no. 1, 2001, pp. 36-44. gcfs.ucpress.edu/content/1/1/36
Leatherman, Thomas L. and Alan Goodman. “Coca-Colonization of Diets in the Yucatán.” Social Sciences and Medicine, vol. 61, no. 4, 2005, pp. 833-846. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953604004587
Lileks, James. The Gallery of Regrettable Foods. Highlights from Classic American Recipe Books. Random House, 2001.
Maldonado Castro, Roberto. Recetario maya del Estado de Yucatán. Conaculta, 2000.
McLuhan, Marshall and Bruce R. Powers. The Global Village. Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century. OUP, 1989.
Mcclements, David Julian, César Vega, Anne E. Mebride, and Eric Andrew Decker. “In Defense of Food Science.” Gastronomica, vol. 11, no. 2, 2011, pp. 76-84. gcfs.ucpress.edu/content/11/2/76.
Nash, June. “Consuming Interests: Water, Rum, and Coca-Cola from Ritual Propitiation to Corporate Expropriation in Highland Chiapas.” Cultural Anthropology, vol. 22, no. 4, 2017, pp. 621-639. culanth.org/fieldsights/consuming-interests-water-rum-and-coca-cola-from-ritual-propitiation-to-corporate-expropriation-in-highlands-chiapas
Navarrete Arce, Manuela. La verdadera cocina yucateca. No publisher listed, 1911 [originally published in 1889 in Valladolid, Yucatan].
Robertson, Roland. Globalization. Social Theory and Global Process. Sage, 1992.
Robertson, Roland. “Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity.” Global Modernities. Edited by Mike Featherstone, Scott Lash and Roland Robertson. Sage, 1995, pp. 25-44.
Schatzker, Mark. The Dorito Effect. The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor. Simon and Schuster, 2015.
Schiller, Nina Glick and Noel B. Salazar “Regimes of Mobility Across the Globe.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 39, no. 2, 2013, pp. 183-200. www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369183X.2013.723253
Segers, Yves. “Preface.” Exploring the Food Chain: Food Production and Food Processing in Western Europe, 1850-1990. Edited by Yves Seger, Jan Bieleman, and Erik Buyst. Brepols, 2009, pp. 13-16.
Shephard, Sue. Pickled, Potted, and Canned. How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World. Simon and Schuster, 2000.
Shewfelt, Robert L. In Defense of Processed Food. It’s Not Nearly as Bad as You Think. Springer, 2017.
Shove, Elizabeth. Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience: The Social Organization of Normalcy. Berg, 2003.
Silva, Elizabeth B. Technology, Culture, Family. Influences on Home Life. Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. Edited by Clare Virginia Eby. Norton Critical Edition. W.W. Norton, 2003.
Taubes, Gary. The Case Against Sugar. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Touraine, Alain. ¿Cómo salir del neoliberalismo? Paidós, 1999.
Trubek, Amy. Haute Cuisine. How the French Invented the Culinary Profession. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.
Tsing, Anna L. Friction. An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton UP, 2005.
Urry, John. Mobilities. Polity Press, 2007.
Vargas-Cetina, Gabriela. Beautiful Politics of Music: Trova in Yucatán, Mexico. University of Alabama Press, 2017.
Velázquez de Esquivel, Fanny. Prepare un bufet. Imprenta Manlio, 1970.
Wallerstein, Immanuel. The Modern World-System. Academic Publishers, 1974.
Ward, Christina. American Advertising Cookbooks. How Corporations Taught Us to Love SpamTM, Bananas, and Jell-OTM. Process Media, 2019.
Warner, Melanie. Pandora’s Lunchbox. How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal. Scribner, 2013.
Williams, Simon N. and Marion Nestle, eds. Big Food. Critical Perspectives on the Global Growth of the Food and Beverage Industry. Routledge, 2016.
Winson, Anthony. The Industrial Diet. The Degradation of Food and the Struggle for Healthy Eating. New York UP, 2014.
Wolf, Eric. Europe and the People Without History. University of California Press, 1982.
Zayas Enríquez, Rafael de. El Estado de Yucatán. Su pasado, su presente, su porvenir. J.J. Little & Ives Co., 1908.
Zeide, Anna. Canned. The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry. University of California Press, 2018.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The Copyright Holder of the submitted text is the Author. The Reader is granted the rights to use the material available in the RIAS websites and pdf documents under the provisions of the Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). Any commercial use requires separate written agreement with the Author and a proper credit line indicating the source of the original publication in RIAS.