American Studies

Dani Nameth - Food and Culture

After finishing her last semester in December of 2012, Dani spent her final academic time abroad in the United Kingdom studying food science at the University of Leeds. She has recently moved back to Southern California to focus on Clinical and Translational research. She is currently working as a Public Administrative Analyst for Phase 2 and 3 Clinical trials for novel treatments in both Sarcoma and Lung Cancer. Dani has also recently been published in the Journal of American Medicine Dermatology for an epidemiological paper looking at the scope of exposure to indoor tanning. Dani continues to bring food, nutrition, and medicine into conversation working on research that focuses on the role of BMI and overall survival in cancer patients while she applies to medical school.

Area of Concentration Courses

American Studies 110: Research in Food Studies
Geography 130: Food and the Environment
Nutritional Science 104: Human Food Practices
Letters and Science C101: Edible Education
American Studies 101: The Birth of Consumer Society
Health Studies 104 (EAP): Food Research


Dani Nameth : - "You Are What You Eat: Finding the Link Between Medicine, Health and the Organic Food Movement" (Class of 2013)

As local, sustainable food becomes evermore ubiquitous and eating conscious becomes the new “it” way to live, the phrase “you are what you eat” seems to be appearing more frequently. Dani uses the origins of the phrase as a starting point to explore the difference between the organic food movement and western medicine. The organic food movement relies on a rhetoric of health and wellness while western medicine chooses to disregard, for the most part, food and what people choose to put in their bodies. Her honors thesis ultimately argues that the obesity epidemic will be the turning point in the antithetical relationship between food and medicine that has developed as a symptom of historical development. Additionally, she argues that the obesity epidemic, as well as the rise in other diet related diseases, might galvanize a true working relationship between the food system and the medical sphere, resulting not only in a more holistic and culture oriented approach to medicine, but also a way to work to prevent diseases in patients instead of merely treating their symptoms.

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