Sociology on the Menu is an accessible introduction to the sociology of food. Highlighting the social and cultural dimensions of the human food system, from production to consumption, it encourages us to consider new ways of thinking about the apparently mundane, everyday act of eating. This book provides a broad conceptual framework, based on the proposition that the food systems and food consumption patterns of contemporary western societies are the products of the complex interplay of the social forces of change and innovation on the one hand and on those which engender stability and continuity. The main areas covered include the origins of human subsistence, the development of the modern food system, food and the family, eating out, diet and health, food risks and food scares, dieting and the body image, the meanings of meat, vegetarianism and the role of sweetness in the human diet. Sociology on the Menu provides a comprehensive overview of the multidisciplinary literature, focusing on key texts and studies to help students identify the main themes. It urges us to re-appraise the taken for granted and familiar experiences of selecting, preparing and sharing food and to see our own habits and choices, preferences and aversions in their broader cultural context.