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Inter disciplina

versión On-line ISSN 2448-5705versión impresa ISSN 2395-969X


AGUILAR RODRIGUEZ, Sandra. Race and food in twentieth-century Mexico. Inter disciplina [online]. 2019, vol.7, n.19, pp.119-138.  Epub 25-Ene-2021. ISSN 2448-5705.

This paper analyzes the influence of racial discourses on Mexico’s eating practices in the twentieth century. As a result of the rise of eugenics and the different answers to the question of how to improve the race, Mexican intellectuals and doctors sought alternatives to the Mendelian arguments that highlighted the superiority of the Anglo-Saxons. In response, Mexico embraced Lamarckian theories which supported the inheritance of acquired characters. In other words, human beings could improve their life and that of their children through education and hygiene, but also by modifying their diet, manners and morals adopting those practices that were deemed superior or ideal. The ideology of mestizaje implied that Mexicans were the mix of indigenous and Spanish culture, but Western culture had to dominate. Mexicans had to adopt a series of eating practices identified with Europe and the United States in order to improve and transform themselves into modern Mexicans.

Palabras llave : race; nutrition; food; indigenous peoples; insects; milk; sugar; public policy; eugenics; mestizaje.

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