Food Autobiography

You can access a complete set of criteria and a scoring rubric here.

This first written assignment asks you to think about your own personal relationship to food and render your memory in 700-750 words (approximately 3 pages). Your task is to subjectively yet descriptively craft an essay that serve as: 1) a baseline understanding of your mediated experiences with food; and 2) a baseline of your writing skills for this course. This first assignment is worth 15% of your final course grade.

Begin by thinking back as far as you can and up through the present day. Consider your experiences with family, peers, culture, school, and media. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your first memory that involves food?
    • Did you have a favorite food as an infant? What was it and why was it a favorite?
    • Was there a food you wouldn’t eat?       Do you remember why?
    • Was there food you remember eating during early childhood? during middle childhood?
  • Do you have a food that is a comfort food? Do you remember why this became a comfort food?
  • Was food used as a reward? Was it taken away as a punishment?
  • Did your family eat together?
    • Were your family dinners a pleasant experience?
    • Do you remember “food messages” from your parents? your grandparents?
  • What was your family food “specialty?”
    • Was there a food that has been passed on from one generation to another?
    • What was a food that you ate as a child that you were surprised to learn that others did not eat?
    • Are there specific foods that you eat in your family only during holidays? vacations? special celebrations?
  • Think about your favorite childhood stories, songs, TV shows, and/or movies: Did any of them center on food? If so, what was it and what do you remember about it?
  • Were food and/or body image an issue during your school experience?
  • Do you remember specific food influences?

The questions above are to prompt your reflective thinking. Do not answer all of them or use them as a roadmap. Simply use them as a starting point for crafting what will be a highly personalized/subjective essay. No memory is too small or insignificant. As an academic essay, your autobiography should follow the norms and standards of upper-division college writing. Upload your essay as a Word doc or PDF file to Canvas by 5:00pm EST Wed Sept 13th.

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