food groups

A crisis in my refridgerator (where I discovered I was without two of the five basic food groups) led to me pondering the cultural constructs of nutrition. In Bardi, the food groups are aarli ‘meat (or rather, ‘animal-based food, including fish’)’, mayi ‘bush foods (non-meat food)’, and goorlil ‘turtle’. The five graduate student (and lazy junior faculty) food groups are of course leftovers, beer, seminar food, chocolate and ‘other’. As far as I can tell, in Yan-nhaŋu there’s muru (bushfood) and warrakan’ ‘meat food’, and that’s it. Warlpiri also has a ‘delicacy’ class which includes witchetty grubs and cheeseburgers.

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3 responses to “food groups

  1. Hmm, in Tlingit there’s only atx’á “food”. I don’t think there are any other categories. It covers the generic terms dleey “animal/fish flesh; meat”, taay “fat”, and éex “oil, grease”. There are no generic terms for any plant foods.

    There are some lexical items for specific food preparations: atx’éeshi “dried fish”, náayadi “half-dried salmon”, ts’ak’áawásh “salted smoked fish”, tséek “barbecued fish”, útlxi “boiled fish”, téeyi “soaked dried fish”, kanéegwál’ “berries mixed with salmon roe” (synonymous with “paint”), and k’ínk’ “fermented fish heads”. Maybe a couple of others. Everything else is referred to by the same nouns as unprepared stuff e.g. laak’ásk “black seaweed” and tsaa naasí “seal intestines”, or described by manner of preparation with an attributive verb phrase.

  2. Argh, WordPress deleted my underline formatting, and the font wouldn’t support the Unicode macron below diacritic: x̱. So all the velar vs. uvular distinction is lost. :(

  3. David Marjanović

    atx’á

    Gesundheit! ;-)

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