Food culture on par with other culture

Dr. Johanna Mäkelä has been appointed as Finland's first professor of food culture. (Photo: Ari Aalto)

Finland is about to get its first chair of food culture. The new professorship is to take food culture to the same level as other cultural fields in Finland.

The chancellor of the University of Helsinki has appointed Dr. Johanna Mäkelä, of the university’s faculty of social sciences, as professor of food culture starting from 1. January 2012. 

The professorship is the first in Finland, and a rarity elsewhere in the world too.

Mäkelä currently holds the position of head of research at the Finnish National Consumer Research Centre. She focuses on the sociology of food and consumption, meals, the practices and patterns of eating.

The significance of food culture is recognised and understood in Finland; food-related education is offered and research carried out at several colleges and universities. But up to now there has been no academic chair to bring all the knowledge and competencies together.

The food culture chair is to provide an opportunity for holistic development of the field.

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