“I Can Say that We Were Healthy and Unhealthy” Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine the importance of the maintenance and reinvention of tradition to the food choices described by Mexican-American focus group participants recruited from nutritional health settings in central Texas.The pressures experienced while coping with changes in their food environment, such as shift-work and working outside the home, and transformations experienced in the food production system, provided structural barriers and opportunities to the reformation of the cultural tools employed in their food-related behaviors. Food choices varied along temporal and value dimensions, and along the process-oriented stages of food choice identified by Marjorie DeVault, namely provisioning, processing and feeding. Eating was added to DeVault's stages to capture the importance participants placed on the health consequences of consumption, and to describe how tradition was employed to enable and rationalize food choices across these stages and dimensions.We also identify how coping with new pressures from the food environment was gendered work, specifically the work of women.

author list (cited authors)

  • Dean, W. R., Sharkey, J. R., Cosgriff-Hernández, K., Martinez, A. R., Ribardo, J., & Diaz-Puentes, C.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • December 2010