The Culture of Food and Drink


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Born in Australia and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana, Emily spent a bit over a decade training in classical ballet before turning her attention to the study of food, health and culture. She is currently a Ph.D. student in American Studies at Brown University. Her research unites the sciences and the humanities as she explores the intersection of food, nutrition and public health in the everyday American experience and popular culture. From trophy kitchens to Vegemite, women who eat Activia yogurt to men who diet, her projects span the breadth of food, eating, health and the body in American culture.

Emily holds a B.A. in Letters from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Medical Humanities, an M.P.H. focused in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.L.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University, where she was a three-time recipient of the Julia Child Award. Her work has been published in CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures, Fat Studies, the Graduate Journal of Food Studies, Inside Higher Ed, and The Inquisitive Eater, among others.

Prior to her current studies of food and culture, Emily worked in the field of worksite wellness in the San Francisco Bay Area. She now lives in Providence with her husband.

Kangaroo meat is sold at an Australian deli. Credit: Emily Contois

Eating more kangaroo meat likely ranks low on the list of food resolutions eaters have considered taking up in 2015. But should it? "I, at

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He invented the mai tai, popularized the margarita and nachos, and introduced American diners to morel mushrooms, sunflower seeds and green peppercorns before most

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Cookbooks from the 1960s were written for an audience less familiar with wine. Credit: Emily Contois

Unlike today, the bustling U.S. wine industry was much less prosperous in the 1960s. After more than a decade of Prohibition, in the 1920s

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A selection of cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s. Credit: Emily Contois

In the 1950s and 1960s, the food industry churned out a veritable buffet of newfangled food products with recipes to match, uniquely combining foods

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Kissing couple with food

Can the kitchen hold the recipe for romance -- or is the gender divide too great? On a reality TV show known for romantic fantasy,

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