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Decentering Metabolism: Peripheral and Southern Diffractions

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In the last few years, a renewed interest in metabolic exchange, and in ideas of a porous and permeable body, has come from disciplines like microbiomics, nutrigenomics, and epigenetics. Moreover, a number of technological changes from food manufacturing to different body/technology interfaces have brought to light conceptions of a “new metabolism” offering “a window onto profound changes to the material and conceptual constitution of …

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Books Features

Book Forum––Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living: Food, Fat and The Absorption of Illness in India

This article is part of the following series:

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Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living traces patterns of consumption, calories, and chronic disease to tell a story about the enfolding––the absorption and regulation––of food in and about the body in Mumbai. Solomon’s book is a powerful ethnographic reflection on how factors held as exterior (local and global cuisine, evolving and competing norms regarding eating and body image) are wholly interiorized. …

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Books Features

More Mango Madness

If you’ve entered the United States from abroad, it’s not unlikely you’ve smuggled food, whether craftily or cluelessly. In a given day, 400-600 pounds of foodstuff will be confiscated from passengers flying into one international terminal at New York’s JFK airport alone. So I learned watching a 1’:53” video produced by A Great Big Story, “Where Illegal Food Goes to …

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Books Features

Meta-Metabolism, or Governing from the Inside Out

Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living ruminates on the absorption of “metabolic disease” in India as a bio-political index for “globesity.” No doubt, from a public health perspective the questions of obesity and its physiological effects weigh heavily upon national populations and the individuals that comprise them. The high economic, psychic, and physiological costs of obesity and its metabolic sequela certainly give …

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Mumbai Metabolism Mysteries

In Metabolic Living, Harris Solomon takes us to Mumbai, India’s largest city, to find out how people deal with illnesses attributed to modern food habits, especially to the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods. He aims to show that metabolism provides a prism of the anxieties and tenshuns of urban life in India. The book comprises chapters on a huge …

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Books Features

Metabolic Living with Madhur Jaffrey

After putting down Metabolic Living, I reached for Indian Cookery (1982), a volume of recipes originally prepared for British television by the still-undisputed doyen of Indian cooking outside of India, Madhur Jaffrey. Put simply, Jaffrey is the Julia Child of Indian food. Since the ‘70s, she has undertaken a tireless quest to untangle the complexities of what she calls, …

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