Students will learn about the significance of eating and healing in relation to biocultural evolution, globalisation, identity and health. The module will cover the evolution of primate diets and self-medication, different modes of food procurement, production and processing, and the relationship of 'drug-foods' to trade, colonial expansion and the process of globalisation. Moving from production and distribution to eating and healing specifically, the module will cover notions of identity at collective and individual levels in relation to food and medicinal plant consumption, as well as political and spiritual aspects of eating and healing with plants (e.g. food/health sovereignty).We will also look at various forms of disordered eating and drug misuse from a biocultural perspective.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150
BSc Anthropology, BSc Biological Anthropology, BA Social Anthropology (and related programmes)
Method of assessment
Essay (2000 words) (40%)
Examination, 2 hour (60%)
Bordo, S. 1993. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body.
Diamond, Jared 1999 Germs, Guns and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. London:
Drewnowski, A., and N. Darmon 2005 Food Choices and Diet Costs: An Economic
Analysis. Journal of Nutrition 135(4):900-904.
Etkin, Nina L., ed. Eating on the Wild Side: The Pharmacologic, Ecologic, and Social
Implications of Using Noncultigens. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Guendelman, Sylvia, and Barbara Abrams 1995 Dietary Intake among Mexican-American
Women: Generational Differences and a Comparison with White Non-Hispanic Women.
American Journal of Public health 85:20-25.
Weigel, M. M., et al. 2007 The Household Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes of
U.S.-Mexico Border Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers. Journal of Immigrant and
Minority Health 9:157-169.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
Demonstrate an ability to critically assess human nutritional requirements/recommendations from an evolutionary perspective and how these have changed over time
Construct a persuasive argument to explain how and why medicinal plants affect human physiology
Critically evaluate the overlap of eating and healing behaviour, especially related to consumption of plants, in order to understand the food-medicine continuum.
Understand the complexity of the relationships between food production, cultural evolution and globalisation in order to relate anthropological debates to current affairs
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of food and medicine consumption in the development of social/cultural identity and diversity over time
Apply a biocultural perspective to anthropological problems/questions when considering eating and healing
Back to top
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.