Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas

Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas Author: Sara Roncaglia
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-909254-00-8 £15.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-909254-01-5 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-909254-02-2 £0.00
epub ISBN: 978-1-909254-03-9 £0.00
mobi ISBN: 978-1-909254-04-6 £0.00

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Every day in Mumbai 5,000 dabbawalas (literally translated as "those who carry boxes") distribute a staggering 200,000 home-cooked lunchboxes to the city’s workers and students. Giving employment and status to thousands of largely illiterate villagers from Mumbai's hinterland, this co-operative has been in operation since the late nineteenth century. It provides one of the most efficient delivery networks in the world: only one lunch in six million goes astray.
Feeding the City is an ethnographic study of the fascinating inner workings of Mumbai's dabbawalas. Cultural anthropologist Sara Roncaglia explains how they cater to the various dietary requirements of a diverse and increasingly global city, where the preparation and consumption of food is pervaded with religious and cultural significance. Developing the idea of "gastrosemantics" a language with which to discuss the broader implications of cooking and eating Roncaglia's study helps us to rethink our relationship to food at a local and global level.

This book is part-funded by an Unglue.it campaign.

Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas
Sara Roncaglia | July 2013
234 | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm Number of Pages: 234
Dimensions: 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781909254008
ISBN Hardback: 9781909254015
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781909254022
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781909254039
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781909254046
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031
BIC subject codes: JHMC (Social and cultural anthropology, ethnography), KDNF (Food manufacturing and related industries), JHM (Anthropology)

1. Bombay-Mumbai and the Dabbawalas: Origin and Development of a Parallel Economy 
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031.01

2. Dabbawala Ethics in Transition 
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031.02

3. Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust: The Shaping of Dabbawala Relations 
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031.03

Conclusions: Tastes and Cultures 
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031.04

Appendix: Theory and Practice for an Ethnography of Diversities 
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0031.05

Select Bibliography 

Sara Roncaglia is a cultural anthropologist. She has worked as a cultural consultant for ethnographic projects that led researches for the Italian National Railways, as well as working with workers of a Barilla factory in Southern Italy. Currently Sara's research is focusing on the cultural dynamics of food and the anthropology of work; her projects in the past ten years have been dedicated to researching identities and practices within the workplace, focusing on the mix of cultural differences and social stratification.In 2011 she co-founded AVoce; a non-profit organisation that promotes historical-anthropological research within work, companies and territory.