Author

Emily Gove

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Jan French

Abstract

Samoa’s history as an island nation, with its cultural heritage of migratory peoples, followed by settler colonialism and missionaries, has resulted in its uniquely amalgamated food system. Cuisine varies from traditional crops and recipes to imported canned goods, although dependence on the latter has led to wide-ranging health problems. A way to confront these problems is through reclaiming local cuisine, renewing its popularity and promoting the concept of food sovereignty. Through fieldwork based on surveys, interviews, and participant observation in Apia, complemented with a study of activist Robert Oliver’s new cookbooks on Pacific cuisine, this project examines current themes in Samoan food culture, and attempts to improve health and cultural heritage through food. Major themes include a localized definition of organic, addressing import dependence, and connecting tenets of farm to table back to traditional methods. International food movements and growing trends of local food and food sovereignty will have a major influence on the future of Samoan cuisine.

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