Devoured: A Journey into the American Food Psyche

Anyone in the public health world knows that people’s behaviors are shaped by their environments. But an often overlooked aspect of the environment is the cultural environment. How do the values that define our national character—work, freedom, and progress—shape our eating habits, the good and the bad? This is the question that Sophie Egan, food writer, UC Berkeley SPH alum, and Culinary Institute of America program director, addresses in her provocative, eye-opening book, Devoured. In Devoured, Sophie holds a mirror up to daily life, revealing the deeper meaning behind our food choices: from around-the-clock snacking to “Sad Desk Lunch;” from the American obsession with “having it our way” to “Stunt Foods” like Doritos Locos Tacos.

A conversation moderated by lecturer Jaspal Sandhu, as we explore the meaning of our national food culture–and together, examine how to help prevent the 80 percent of chronic diseases related to lifestyle by cultivating a healthier foodscape.

This talk is part of the 2016-17 UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean’s Speaker Series and the 2016-17 Kaiser Permanente Lecture Series.

Date: October 27, 2016

Photography by: Hewitt Photography

Location: Alumni House, UC Berkeley