CULT - Emergences et évolutions des cultures et des phénomènes culturels

A Critical and Comparative Research on Food Heritage and Gastropolitics – FOODHERIT

Submission summary

In different regional contexts, heritage politics are encouraging the revitalization and the promotion of particular and “traditional” food products with different aims, such as cultural recognition and market exploitation. The listing of the “gastronomic meal of the French”, the “traditional Mexican cuisine” and the “Mediterranean diet” as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, along with the promotion of “routes” of gastronomic heritage, are clear evidence of these trends. As a consequence, food cultures have moved to the center of a triangulation between culture, identity and markets. FOODHERIT will critically question the particularity of food heritage, as it is pulled to and from between the many options of commodification and the enhancement of human activities that bring forth foodways in the first place. The project will develop and employ an original methodological framework combining different approaches of social sciences to compare avenues of food heritage-making in many countries. The comparative perspective is crucial to allow for an understanding for why and how food and culinary heritage have been increasingly promoted. FOODHERIT interrogates the role of food heritagization in the negotiation of past and present identities, in the integration of social groups into the global economy, and in the attribution of value to people and substances involved in this process. The project pursues three lines of research to reach its objectives.

a) Examine the link between food heritage and cultural identities: What are the identity mechanisms that take place in food heritagization?

b) Question the link between food heritage and local development strategies: How are objectives formulated in terms of cultural recognition? How are objectives formulated and what role is accorded to the idea and goal of “development”? What power relations are at play in food heritage-making?

c) Articulate the requirements of cultural recognition and economic capitalization in food heritage through the notion of value: Should value accorded to food heritage be understood separately from its relation to the “value of people” who produce it? How is “value” understood in the framework of food heritagezation?

FOODHERIT marks the emergence of a dynamic field of research and of an interdisciplinary methodology in which identity, belonging, social inclusion and development stand out as key concepts.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Charles-Édouard DE SUREMAIN (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement IRD - (UMR 208 Paloc) ) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IRD Institut de Recherche pour le Développement IRD - (UMR 208 Paloc)

Help of the ANR 223,466 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2013 - 42 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter