Sacrifice Vs. Superiority
As the author of Finding the “Ideal Diet” Deborah Neill asserted, “(food) symbolizes culture, social status and power … it also could reaffirm cultural and social prejudices” (Neill 2009, 23). In hindsight, diet and nutrition played a critical role in the empire building of many countries, and Japan and France are not exceptions. While a bunch of parallel can be drawn between the French and Japanese colonialism in terms of colonial foodways, the measurements adopted by Japan and France in colonial dietary practices were not on par with each other. In particular, the keywords are divergent - while superiority was an essential term to French colonialism in Equatorial Africa, sacrifice was hugely accentuated in Japanese colonialism in colonized Korea. In this essay, I will analyze how superiority and sacrifice are embodied in French and Japanese colonialism on different dimensions, including natural environment, adoption of local food, and social circumstances (in terms of settler communities).
France and Superiority …show more content…
“How to survive the climate by eating wisely, yet without losing French culinary traditions” (Neill 2009, 2), was the most critical issue faced by French colonial nutritionists of the time. Nutritionists found that by adding more vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, to the diet can enhance the health conditions of residents living in Africa (Neill 2009, 8). Nonetheless, albeit the health danger, Meat-eating remained consistently favored by French colonizers in daily practice (Neill 2009, 16), and even though when they incorporated fruits and vegetables into the diet, “privileged” French vegetables were preferred over local products in Equatorial Africa. The reason behind such preference can be boiled down to the French culinary