”Food studies” reflects the growing food awareness in society as a whole. The meal is regarded as an important provider of health, wellbeing and social interface. The link between food and sustainable development is acknowledged as is our gastronomic culture and heritage as a source for future benefit and growth. The field of” food studies” is still in its infancy and therefore difficult to define. The volatility and evolving character of the field is however what makes it interesting and engaging. Research questions include: What impact does food have on the environment? What are the ethics of eating? How does food contribute to systems of oppression? How are foods symbolic markers of identity? Who chooses what we eat and why? Where is the boundary between authentic culinary heritage and invented tradition? What about the spatialization of foodways and the relationship between food and place?

”Food studies” is a multi-and transdisciplinary discipline. It encompasses a wide range of research methodologies as well as ideological and theoretical positions. It attracts a wide range of scholars: philosophers, historians, scientists, literary scholars, sociologists, art historians, anthropologists, and others. The interest in food is not limited to modern times but includes eating habits and the relation to food in ancient as well as pre-historic times.  Furthermore, the field is also characterized by a crossover between academic and popular work.

The emergence of the field of ”Food studies” can be traced back to the 1960s and it has evolved thanks to anthropology (Claude Lévi-Strauss and Mary Douglas), history (Marc Bloch, Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari) and sociology (Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu and Claude Fischler). Most scholars treat food as an object of analysis. Lately the work by Elisabeth Telfer (1996) and Carolyn Korsmeyer (1999) has however also brought to light the full potential of food as a topic for philosophical inquiry i.e. the transformative power of taste and gustatory experience.