Author Archives: trishag

Research Paper: Bibliography

Trisha Gopal

Ball, K., A. MacFarlane, D. Crawford, G. Savige, N. Andrianopoulos, and A. Worsley. “Can social cognitive theory constructs explain socio-economic variations in adolescent eating behaviours? A mediation analysis.” Health Education Research. 24.3 (2008): 496-506. Print.

This article looks at data collected from 2529 adolescents, surveying their eating habits, their self-efficacy for healthy eating, as well as the importance they put on nutrition. This study recognized that there is a difference in eating behavior between adolescents in lower socioeconomic position versus their counterparts in higher socioeconomic positions. The study hoped to uncover some of the underlying causes perpetuating these differences by looking at food consumption through the lens of social construct theory. They found that social cognitive factors were at least one indicator of diet.

Claire, Mabel. Bamberger’s Cook Book for the Busy Woman: Including a Complete Guide to Kitchen Management. New York: Greenberg, 1932.

This book of recipes published was published around the time of the Great Depression. Although not at all representative of the times, it still represented the state of mind of the time, an ideal. She spoke very glamorously of decorative kitchens and decorative cooking, and gave many housewives hope.

Darmon , Nicole, and Adam Drewnowski. “Does social class predict diet quality?.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 87.5 (2008): 1107-17. Print.

This review looks to the relationship between socioeconomic status and diet quality. It begins by looking at the differences in nutrient intake and food consumption between those in lower and higher socioeconomic positions. It continues to try to explain these discrepancies, looking at factors such as cost, physical access, nutrient dense v. energy dense foods, etc.

Darmon , Nicole, and Adam Drewnowski. “Food Choices and Diet Costs: an Economic Analysis.” Journal of Nutrition. 135.4 (2005): 900-4. Print.

This article looks at the relationship between obesity and socioeconomic resources. It goes on to analyze strategy presently implemented for public health which encourages low-income households to buy costly foods. Instead, this article proposes an approach involving behavioral nutrition and the economics of food choice.

“Good and hungry: More than menus need to be revamped if fast-food firms want to keep growing .” Economist. 17 06 2010: n. page. Print.

This article looks at how the recession has treated fast-food firms.

Hupkens, Christianne L.H., Ronald A. Knibbe, and Maria J. Drop. “Social class differences in food
consumption.” European Journal of Public Health. 10.2 (2000): 108-13. Print.

This paper studies the results of a survey of the diet habits of 849 women in three different cities, each living with a partner and at least one child. The study found that when it came to food consumption, middle-class mothers were more likely to give a greater importance to health and a lesser importance to cost in comparison to lower-class mothers. In particular, the study sought to see if permissiveness and health and cost considerations could explain the class differences in food consumption. However, regression analyses showed that these considerations could not be the cause of social variances.

Kumcu, Aylin, and Phil Kaufman. “Food Spending Adjustments During Recessionary Times.” Amber Waves: The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America. 09 2011: n. page. Print.

This article looks at how the current recession has affected the food spending of the average American. They found that middle and high income families cut back food purchases more than low income families did.

Lovegren, Sylvia. Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. 41-60.

In this book, Ms. Lovegren discusses food culture as it manifested itself during the Great Depression. As she points out, although people were hungry, they were not starving. Due to lowered food costs, even in families making a daily salary of less than two dollars was the average adult male consuming 2720 calories a day. There was a rise in women’s clubs and diet fads, and food sections in popular media would not acknowledge the social and economic distress that their country was facing.

Olver, Lynne. “Popular 20th Century American Foods: 1930s foods.” The Food Timeline. N.p., 09 04 2012. Web. 10 Apr 2012. <

This website looks at food culture during the Great Depression. It discusses soup kitchens, penny restaurants, New Deal programs, popular brands at the time, "formal" dinner menus, cocktail party menus, etc. and outlines examples of typical meals eaten throughout the day. It also references articles from cookbooks and newspapers written during the 1920s-1930s.

Whitacre, Paula T., Peggy Tsai, and Janet Mulligan. The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2009.

This is a look at the health effects of food deserts on today's society; food deserts being defined as areas where low-income families have little to no access to healthy foods. In conjunction, maps out the 10% of the country qualifying as being a food desert.

Research Paper: Proposal

I am interested in food as a marker of social class throughout American history. In particular, I would like to focus on periods of economic distress. During trying times, the bridge between the classes stretches, and social dividers become distinctly noticeable. It might be interesting to see how these dividers manifest themselves in food culture. Specifically, I would like to compare and contrast food culture during the Great Depression (1930s) and the Great Recession (2008-2012). Although these two times of financial crises are markedly different (there is no real prospect of reaching a Great Depression today), they have both resulted in wealth gaps of new extremes, affecting the cultures within socioeconomic groups.
With regards to the Great Depression, I would discuss the change in diets within the upper and lower classes as they entered a time of economic turmoil. Although decreased food prices (thankfully) avoided the prospect of starvation, many still had to practice food frugality, which may have meant buying lower quality food than they were so previously used to, rationing meals, or frequenting soup kitchens. Rates of malnutrition and alcoholism increased during this time period. In contrast, the upper classes were largely unaffected. Magazines and media began targeting the wealthier classes, with articles and ads for new “gourmet” foods, and fads such as the Hollywood diet and the 18-Day diet. As many were desperate for food, this blatant flaunting made culture differences particularly distinct. I could compare these effects on food culture in the Great Depression to those we encounter today. Although our circumstances are less extreme, we encounter similar problems. As it effects the lower socioeconomic classes today, this manifests itself in forms of food deserts, the proliferation of fast foods, as well as the growing obesity problem. On the other end, food culture today has seen its fair share of diet fads. Currently, a large organic wave seems to be sweeping the upper classes. Access to healthy foods seems to be the divider of food culture within the classes today.

Research Paper: Brainstorm

I am interested in food culture as it relates to different socioeconomic classes. I think it could be interesting to see how food preferences have changed over the last couple decades within various social classes. I believe this could be especially telling today, with the rise of the organic fad as well as the growing obesity rates in this country due to the mass proliferation of cheap (and unhealthy) fast food joints. Today, in the US, a shortage of food is less of a problem than is the shortage of nutritious food. Therefore, those in higher socioeconomic classes tend to lean towards eating healthy. There is a large organic trend sweeping through these classes, and diets of all sorts seem to take over food culture. As food shortage is not a large issue, those perhaps in wealthier socioeconomic classes focus instead on being trim, healthy, and fit. However, as organic foods and other healthier options tend to be on the more expensive side, many others resort to quick, easy and most importantly, cheap fast food options. However, these foods do not serve healthy, balanced, or nutritious meals. Dollar menus and Happy meals are leading to increased obesity rates. On the other hand, during a time such as the Great Depression when 25% of the country was out of work, bringing food to the table was a greater ordeal. Many were blessed to take any food that came their way. During this time, where food shortages were a greater problem, being on the heavier side was a sign of wealth, signifying that you had food.
I realize that this may be a pretty broad topic for a research paper, so I will work on narrowing it down, perhaps by only comparing two vastly different decades in American history (such as the present, and the Great Depression).

Fourth Online Assignment: Your Dekalb Farmers Market

While living in Atlanta, my family has done a good deal of our grocery shopping at ‘Your Dekalb Farmers Market.’ Even while at college, I try making a trip once a month. The market tries to coerce two associations in the minds of their customers: the first is the international perspective, the second is the idea of stripping food down to its raw and true elements.

The international spin to things is massively prominent, even before entering the store. On the side of the building, there are scribed the words “A World Market” alongside a picture of a globe. Upon entering, the customer is immediately struck by the various flags hanging down from the ceiling. Even further, the employees, hailing from all around the globe, wear nametags that spell out, not only their names, but also the languages they speak. This is all done in an effort to create an inviting environment for customers, especially those from abroad, all the while creating a very deliberate worldly and colorful atmosphere.

The second aspect is the food itself. We shop at YDFM for the range of fresh produce, as well as the interesting and ‘hard-to-find’ products that perhaps go beyond typical supermarket goods. The farmer’s market tries to strip down the food of all bells and whistles, to make it look, perhaps, as fresh, organic, and “real” as possible. All the foods made by the market themselves are housed in clear packaging, and clear containers with small, uniform labels. All the produce have signs indicating the state/country that they came from, trying to drive home the ‘fresh’ point; that nothing stands between the farm and your kitchen. Even more, they make a point of keeping all the food as open as possible, to make the gap between food and people even narrower. By creating a certain atmosphere, the market is able to appeal to a certain type of customer.

Chocolate Bark

The chocolate-bark experience began with a trip to Publix. As a group, we had to decide what exactly we wanted the bark to be comprised of. We finally left the store with both white and semi-sweet chocolate, peanut butter, peppermints, and mint Oreos.

The cooking process itself went altogether smoothly, though we ran into two main problems. To begin with, we didn’t have wax paper. However, after some help from some friends, and after coming to the realization that parchment paper serves more-or-less the same purpose as wax paper, that problem was solved. Our next issue was in coming up with an effective method of crushing the peppermints. We went down all the obvious paths: using sofas, tables, screwdrivers, but, unfortunately, with no avail. Luckily, that problem was solved in little time (surprisingly, a blender did the job perfectly).

After all the chocolate had melted, and all the ‘add-ons’ had been ‘added-on’, we left the bark in the refrigerator to cool. Despite our minor problems, the preparation process took no more than half an hour, with the cooling process taking up another thirty minutes. It was fun experience, and the bark turned out fantastic!
–Dubem, Jimmy, and Trisha

Food Memoir

Growing up as a kid in Bombay so painfully close to the beaches, the sand/wave combo staged some of my most important childhood memories. With the beach came the culture surrounding it — the street vendors, the rides, the food, the people. Those beaches hold so much of my childhood, and the foods I ate there will always be some of my absolute favorites. For the 90-some degree weather, we kept cool with coconut water and ice golas (a bit like snow cones–crushed ice on a stick, laced with various syrups), and we kept our spirits high with cotton candy (to me, cotton candy will always be beach food). Still, the best was the Mumbai chaat (savory snacks).  The street vendors would make magic with their bhelpuri, gift wrapped in a newspaper cone and topped off with a folded-magazine-cover spoon. The result is a sweet-sour-tangy-crispy snack.

Bhelpuri Recipe:
2 cups puffed rice, toasted (kurmura)
1 cup sev (fried, thin noodles, made of gram flour)
10 papadi (crispy, flat, fried dough)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup boiled potato, chopped
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
2 tsp fresh garlic chutney
1/4 cup date and tamarind chutney
1/4 cup green chutney (coriander and green chiles)
1 tsp black salt
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
red chili powder and dried mango powder as needed

Combine all ingredients, and toss till well mixed


Hi! My name is Trisha, and I am a first year Computational Media major. I attended high school in Atlanta, but I grew up in Mumbai, India, and Racine, Wisconsin (a small city on the shore of Lake Michigan, in between Milwaukee and Chicago). I had a terrible time choosing one absolute favorite food, but, I think most of my favorites are a result of habituation and sentimentality. Two of these are pani puri and deep dish pizza. Growing up close to Chicago, deep dish pizza became a quick favorite, and, with regards to the former, roadside vendors sell some of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

So far, the better part of my food education has been the product of hours and hours of watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I love food, and I am very excited for this class!