By Søren Askegaard
The domain selected for a first investigation of the biosocial character of consumption is the practice of eating with the hands. In a preliminary cross-cultural comparative study, we have found significant differences concerning this practice, deeply engrained in socio-historical sets of culinary norms and values. While eating with your hands is obviously a Maussian “technique of the body”, the practice of eating with one’s hand is absent from classical anthropology of the senses. However, the emerging physiological studies of food underline that we use all our senses when tasting and the practice of eating with one’s hands, we will hypothesize, makes no small contribution. On-going data collection will contribute to throw further light on this. Various sources relate the practice of eating with one’s hands with several benefit such as promoting mindful eating, improving taste of food, and preventing humans from binge eating. Although such arguments still need more scientific substantiation, they potentially situate the practice of eating with your hands in a contemporary battlefield of various market agents concerning the policing and moralizing of food.