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  1. Define: Mbobo
    A fattening room girl. Every daughter, except perhaps daughters of the poorest, is expected to become a mbobo. This girl will undergo a period of time in isolation within her mother's house where she will do nothing but attempt to gain weight in an effort to become suitable for marraige, and was also a time to learn about becoming a woman and what her place would be in society.
  2. Define: Affluent malnutrition
    Malnutrition without the influence of poverty. Can occur when the necessary balance of nutrients is not received even if the necessary calories is. An example would be "rabbit starvation" syndrome in which huge amounts of proteins were gained without many accompanied fats. This led to ketosis and portential death even though nutrients were being eaten. Essentially refers to malnutrition due to an imbalance or improper food consumption rather than a lack of food consumption.
  3. Define: The Paleo-Diet
    The paleo-diet is the diet we believe human ancestors to have had, and is believed by many to be the "perfect" diet for the human body, due to evolution. According to the article the paleo diet differed from the modern diet in that it had higher levels of protein, cholesterol, calicium, iron, folate, and essential fatty acids with lower levels of sodiThe name for the um, and fat (with a higher ratio of unsaturated:saturated fats within the diet).
  4. Define: Xiongnu
    Nomads in China, who were virtually independant of settled farming due to their reliance on milk as their primary food resource (often from the horses they rode and the cattle and sheep that they herded). Although they were lactose intolerant, they were able to use this resource due to various methods of fermentation which hydrolized the lactose sugar into easily digestable glucose and galactose while simultaneously providing multiple food products.
  5. Define: Manioc (Cassava)
    The primary source of nutrition for the Annang. It is a complex carbohydrate that does not contain a large amount of vitamins or minerals, and is often accompanied by yams. These are often supplemented by palm oils as a source of fat because the Annang had very little if any animal in their general diets.
  6. Define: Cooking pot syndrome
    Near-East and Africa differed in their use of cereal grains. The near-east took on an "oven and bread" style use, which Africa took on a "cooking pot" style use. Use of the cooking pot led to technological advancements in ceramic technology, as well as a new cultural meanings. The pot symbolized the body. If the pot pot was full, then the body was symbolically full. Pots often used for porridges and beer, gathering many together to partake at a single time, showing societal unity and status. Very important to the African culture.
  7. Define: Uruk
    Uruk denotes a period of time (fourth millennium BC) used to denote various happenings in mesopotamia (the first society). In our readings it related to what was essentially a land-fill from middle Uruk found in southwest Iran that contained "trash" for a two year period of time.
  8. Define: Hypolactasia
    The inability to digest lactose (glucose+galactose) which is common in mammal adults. The majority of the world suffers from this condition, with europeans being the least affected. This played a large part in the availability of dairy products to the early Chinese, and the importance of fermentation and alternate resources (such as soy).
  9. Define: Faunal Analysis
    The study of animal remains found at various geopgraphical locations with the purpose of establishing the animal diet (and other uses) for a human population.
  10. Define: "Mules" in rural Jamaica
    Non-reproducing women. Often associated with prostitution, nonmonogamy. Serve no purpose to society/community, stubborn, uncooperative, sellfish, can never truly reach adulthood, unwilling to help society.
  11. Define: Consanguineal vs. nurture kinship
    Consanguineal kinship refers to a blood-relationship, while nurture kinship refers to an emotionally-bonded relationship not-necessarily with blood relation. The importance to our class is that nurture kinships are often built, and shown, with food mechanisms such as hunting, food distribution, and in many cases food consumption (such as the african porridge-pot scenario).
  12. Define: Neolithic
    The "New Stone" era, defined by the rise of basic agriculture in human societies and the use and refinement of stone tools to aid this and other processes.
  13. Give examples of ways that people deal with food uncertaintly or scarcity (3 diff studies)
    • From the Uruk pit - Killing of younger animals for food purposes, breaking into food stores
    • From Hunter/Gatherer video - Geographic mastery, wide array of diet options (nuts, berries, meats, tubers, etc), careful dispersal of food products amongst population based on need, distinct groups of hunters, gatherers, etc
    • From Cooking and Evolution - Creation of social structure. Stockpiling food around a centralized hearth which inevitably led to monogomy, food sharing/protection, and society. The dependance on one another for the survival of all.
  14. List two methods for collecting information on diet for living populations, what is a short-coming of each method that limits its usefulness?
    • Weighted food record: interferance with regular eating patterns because of hyper-awareness of intake and inconvenience of weighing items.
    • Diet recall: Many issues regarding memory for young children and the elderly, underreported consumption, difficulty to report quantity of oddly-shaped items (loose candy, noodles, salad, etc)
  15. In evolutionary perspective, how did cooking influence a) patterns of human life-history (growth and developmental stages) and b) the social structure of early humans?
    • More nutrients per minute consumed
    • Foods became more nutritionally viable (cooked starches)
    • More energy for a more powerful brain
    • Reduced gut to accomodate better quality food and streamlined absorption process
    • Reduced jaw size and tooth changes to accomodate meat eating, and less sheer power necessary for diet
    • Cooking + food stockpiling (sharing) led to changes in social structure
    • Monogomy/pair-bonding for food protection and female protection
    • Cooking leads to DEPENDENCE on controlled use of a fire in a CENTRAL area (community)
  16. What does the phrase "affluent malnutrition" refer to? Explain what this contradiction in terms means with regard to the contemporary diet of humans.
    Affluent malnutrition refers to the idea of malnutrition without a lack of food. Thatis, in modern terms, a diet that does not meet the requirements for our body to function at its full potential. The examples given in the text refer to things such as our over consumption of salts, cereal grains, and fats which may play a role in the many diet-related "diseases of civilization" which did not exist until relatively recently in time. While the modern diet consists of more than enough calories to allow our body to function it may lack in necessary nutrients such as various vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, or essential amino acids. In addition an incorrect balance of these nutrients may be involved in our current situation.
  17. Hayden argues that rice cultivation began as a luxury crop that was primarily used in feasting context. Discuss five (of the eight) reasons he gives in support of his argument.
    • Difficult to grow and maintain, extra attention was required
    • Difficult to gain a good yield (especially versus other crops in the region)
    • Unnecessary for daily subsistence
    • Can be used for alcohol (would imply surplus or extreme rarity)
    • Special rituals for various cultures (rain/water ceremonies, prayers/offerings to Goddess of Lake)
    • Special status assigned (pure, a woman, embodiment of ideal human characteristics)
    • Used to gain influence though feasts and ceremonies
  18. Two great culinary traditions were examined by Haalund: the use of pots and the use of ovens. Describe the geographical difference in their areas of use, and the impact this had on diets.
    • Africa: Pots initially used at river and lake sites for fish stew, eventually used for beers and porridges. The clay and loam found in these areas would lend themselves to the ceramic work found in these locations.
    • Near east: Focused on ovens. Elaboration of houses and hearths linked to elaboration of ovens. Dense settlements with large protective walls, keeping society in.
  19. Explain the use of the phrase "cooking pot syndrome" with regard to the two culinary traditions discusses by Haalund.
    • Cooking pot syndrome is a phrase that references the development of the two different cultures with response to their use of cereal grains. In Africa they became fixated on cooking pots and a place of central gathering. Whether creating beer or porridges the pot (which can be seen as representing a human body) played a central role in bringing the community together and in various social practices (including simply gathering the community to eat from a single pot)
    • In the Near-East they become fixated on large ovens. Ovens can be seen as representing fertility and the womb. With the advent of large ovens cereal grains could be used to create bread which was shared amongst the community, and large increases to homes and populations were seen AROUND the increasing complexity of ovens. Ovens became a centralized aspect of this culture.
  20. Why did the ancient Chinese fail to develop dairy farming?
    • Already receiving enough Ca2+ and vit D (from sunlight)
    • Animals were too valuable to invest as milk producing, rarely used for meat due to high upkeep
    • With no reason to rely on dairy farming hypolactasia was never selectively destroyed
    • Until the fermentation of milk products was established the Chinese could not tolerate milk products
  21. From carefully excavating one stratified refuse pit at the Uruk period village of Sharafabad, what did we learn about how villagers responded to and planned for good and bad economic years. Discuss their strategies and activies in good years vs. bad years.
    • Good years: Much construction, food stores created
    • Bad years: less animal bones, younger animal bones (perhaps to end competition for resources), food stores broken into, less small-scale construction, more effort toward stone productions
  22. Seals were important sources of information in the deposits at Sharafabad (Mesopotamia). How did they inform our understanding of resource use during good and bad economic years?
    Seals were used as a way to identify which food stores belonged to whom (like a currency). The idea that there were more seals found during the "bad year" implies that these stores were being broken into rather than continuing to be created. Also implies a centralized control over resources rather than an "every man for himself" situation, most likely a large centralized land working in conjunction with various smaller outliers.
  23. What are the steps to becoming mbobo?
    • Must be initiated into the two women's secret societies (ndam and ngwongwo)
    • Must be virginal
    • Taken away from all work activities and placed into seclusion for a prolonged period of time (only one 'presentation day' per year)
    • Only purpose is to fatten girls up to prepare for motherhood
    • Nonvirgins COULD NOT be mbobo, regardless of financial status
  24. Discuss the symbolism of the "seclusion" during the fattening process. What are the biocultural aspects of this ritual?
    • Represents a transformation WITHOUT an inbetween period. Goes in a girl and returns a woman prepared for marriage and child birth.
    • Taken out of all work-requirements (implies wealth on the part of the family that they can 'fend' without her)
    • Young children required to perform their needs, most likely due to purity associated with children and perhaps a child's inability to provide leigitimate labor in society
  25. How would you characterize a healthy, well-adjusted person living within the culture of rural Jamaica?
    Jamaicans value a large size. A large size implies that the person is healthy and has extremely healthy relationships within society. Thatis to say that they are believed to share their wealth and food while simultaneously receiving the shared wealth and food of their family and friends. A well-adjusted person would also cook and prepare meals that were tasty and seasoned with salt (not bland) to show their caring/giving nature. And finally a healthy Jamaican would need to be at least moderately sexually active to maintain a proper balance of their bodily fluids.
  26. Body equilibrium, nourishment, and balance are important in both rural Jamaica and in many cultures. What is this balance based on in rural Jamaica? Compare and contrast this to the concept of balance between yin and yang in chinese medicine.
    • Jamaica: balance based on fluid balance. Maintaining a fluid body, and maintaining the fluids within (red blood, white blood, sexual fluids) is critical to being healthy in rural Jamaica.
    • Chinese medicine: yin and yang, opposing forces that are both required. Chinese medicine believed that balance is body-temperature based, and foods were chosen for them based on their answers to various questions posed by the chefs.
  27. Compare the worldview of the Australian Aborigines with that of the Mongolian herders in the Gobi.
    • The aborigines believed that the world was originally barron, and that after the earth brought their ancestors forth their ancestors created the modern landscape. Aborigines are very nature/earth oriented, with a strong sense of balance within nature. Aborigines have many many cultural rememdies and rituals involving various plants, animals, and other aspects of the earth to their benefit.
    • In contrast the Mongolian herders believed that they owed the earth a debt of gratitude and that it was sacred. In their culture they do not wear shoes with heals nor do they plant stakes in the ground for their tents. They define their balance with nature by not touching it, and giving offerings to the earth before meals.
  28. What kinds of economic activities are the re-settled Aboriginies pursuing and how does this fit with their view of nature?
    • Using moringa(sp?) juice, which has various health/healing properties (cold/flu tonic), to sell on the open market in conjunction w/ government
    • Success has led to research for other native remedies as a marketable option (not necessarily just for eating)
    • Government employed rangers take care of the moringa(sp?) crops
    • Other ranger activites include that gathering of turtles and stripping of eggs to be sold to pet stores as well as guaranteeing the turtle line as a future food source
    • Mix of traditional customs with modern economy is allowing many aboriginals to return to the bush and live a more traditional lifestyle
  29. What is "bush medicine"?
    The medicine practices used by the aboriginees with regards to the bush (the unindustrialized areas of Australia). The knowledge of various plants as herbal rememdies through either ingestion, physical application, or special preparation together (soaking in water, mixing in sunlight, etc) is bush medicine. While some may scoff at the notion that these are practical medicines they are being actively investigated by local colleges and the government for a potential use in modern society, and many are being sold/cultivated specifically for those purposes after being successfully tested!
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2012-03-06 11:49:17

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