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Field Work Notes

by: Carina Sauter

Field Work Notes ANTH 1102

Carina Sauter
GPA 3.79

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About this Document

These notes provide an overview of the discussion lead by the TA in class, lecturing about her field work and an explanation of food insecurity in communities around the world.
Introduction to Anthropology
Dr. Birch
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Monday April 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1102 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Birch in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 04/11/16
Lecture on Field Work • What is food insecurity? o Not knowing where your next meal will come from o Nutrition, social and cultural, and psychosocial factors lead to food insecurity o Nutrition – not knowing where your food is coming from o Social and Cultural – what types of food a culture can eat o Psychological • Caveat #1: Food insecurity is everywhere o Even in the US § As of 2014: 48.1 million are affected • Caveat #2: Food insecurity does not define Africa o Not all of Africa, nor Ghana, are completely rural o Surge in external investment in growth and development since they found oil off the coast • Upper West Ghana o 33% of the population in the north is food insecure § dry in the north – hard to produce food here § cereal crops § lower purchasing power o 6% of the population in the south is food insecure § semi arid – farming dependent on one unpredictable rainy season § known for gold, cocoa, and oil • Economy: Subsistence Agriculture o Subsistence Agriculture = Grow food they tend to consume in their households § Sell any extra at the market o Horticulturalists § Clear spot of land, grow crops, land depletes, then move on o Agriculturalists § 5-10 acres total § if they can access/rent a tractor, afford fertilizer, they are using them o Gendered division of labor § Certain things that men and women do § Much overlap § Patriarchy – men have control over land and are deemed farmers • Provide food for household – if they can’t grow it, they must purchase it • Responsible for getting land cleared, weeding, and serve as general managers § Women are primarily planters • Involved in harvesting • Can access land but cannot own it o Mixed Cropping § Not growing one kind of food – lots of variety § Traditionally, involves planting different crops in certain kinds of schemas within the same field • Knowing attributes of how they compliment each other is beneficial o Crops § Maize is the number one crop for growing and eating – relatively recent th • Since mid 20 century § Traditionally grew millet and sorghum • Remain important to dietary practice even with maize • Retain social and cultural importance in farming, diet, festivals, etc. § Yam • Huge, impressive • One of the most labor intensive farms § Slave trade explains why much of the food in Africa has transitioned here o Eating § Tuo Zafi (eaten with soup) § Fried bean cakes and sorghum beer (boiled, grounded, soup, cakes, etc.) § Pounded yam (eaten with soup) • Method #1: Standardized Survey o Ordered of intensity: build off of each question o All face to face o In the past month (30 days/4 weeks): Did you worry that your household would not have enough food? o Did you or any household member eat just a few kinds of food day after day because of a lack of resources? o Did you or any household member eat food that you did not want to eat because a lack of resources to obtain other types of food? o Did you or any household member eat a smaller meal than you felt you needed because there was not enough food? o Did you or any other household member eat few meals in a day because there was not enough food? o Was there ever no food at all in your household because there were no resources to get more? o Did you or any other household member go to sleep at night hungry because there was not enough food? o Did you or any other household member go a whole day without eating anything because there was not enough food? o Conducted three different times in two different communities § Trends • Food insecurity is highest in march (spring) lowest in October (fall – harvest time) • Depends on community – Chansa (lower food insecurity) vs Tampiani (higher food insecurity) • Method #2: Anthropometrics o Medical anthropology o Research the children’s weight and height to determine nutritional content o Field sites: § Tampiani • Women farm more • Less formal sector; more charcoal production § Chansa • Women farm less and more involved in training • More formal sector • Greater building • Method #3: Dietary Recall Survey o What did you eat in the morning? o What did you eat in the afternoon yesterday? o What did you eat in the evening yesterday? o Proved dietary diversity by season • Method #4: Dietary Change Interviews o Interviewed older women to determine their diets and how they have or have not changed o Yams and beans everyday food o Diverse diet is important for different bodily needs • Method #5: Participant Observation o Cooking and eating with people o Came to understand diversity in foods § Asked “was it soft” after every meal – aesthetics of food o Food Aesthetics § Slippery soup, soft, • Method #6: Flour Preference o If you had plenty of money and you wanted to prepare a tuo zafi that would impress your friends or family, how would you prepare it o If you had plenty of money, but you wanted to prepare a tuo zaafi that would leave you feeling most satisfied o If your money was constrained, but you wanted to prepare a tuo zafi, what flour would you use? § Millet/sorghum, soft maize cassava, soft maize, hard maize § In fact determines whether they eat it or not • Conclusions o People are reliant on the cheapest foods available o Food diversity should be considered as more than nutrition o Food security should be considered as more than eating enough food – should also be about eating the right foods that your own cultural context dictates


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