Food Anthropologist

Examine the role of food in different cultures throughout history.
picture of Food Anthropologist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $89,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Food Anthropologists do?

Food anthropology is a subdiscipline of anthropology. While Anthropologists focus on the study of humans, past and present, Food Anthropologists specialize in the role that food plays in communities and society as a whole.

You might think that food is just food, but in reality, food is as much a part of society as money, politics, and taxes. The growing or gathering of food, its consumption, and our attitudes about it all reflect the state of the economy, social classes, and tradition. As a Food Anthropologist, you study food to give us a basis for this knowledge.

Thanks to you, we know how hunters and gatherers survived, what foods were commonly consumed in the Middle Ages, and how the discovery of spices changed world politics and exploration.

Your job as a Food Anthropologist might lead you into a teaching position where you educate the masses about the role of food in cultural celebrations. Or perhaps you work with Archaeologists to better understand preparation techniques for meals 4,000 years ago. Maybe you travel the world, comparing beliefs about food and how those ideas relate to predominant religious beliefs in the area.

In what ways were food used to establish equality? What effect did droughts and dropping global temperatures have on propagation techniques? How did animal roaming patterns affect the nomadic lifestyle? All of these questions and thousands more keep you looking for answers, making hypotheses, and educating others.

Should I be a Food Anthropologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Culinary Anthropologist, Nutritional Anthropologist

    How to become a Food Anthropologist

    Most Food Anthropologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaa9u&chl=||||master%27s+%2857%25%29|doctorate+%2843%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,57
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Food Anthropologist