The quarry of the anthropologist - the deep social patterns and cultural meanings that shape human existence - are often disguised, out of sight, behind the curtain of the world as it appears. In seeking a vantage point from which one might glimpse these phenomena, this course follows a well-beaten anthropological path: beginning with a commonplace, everyday practice, students work outward in scope and backward in time to construct an informed, analytic, and critical perspective on human society and culture through the seemingly pedestrian substance of food. The course begins with selected readings that explore single commodities, tracking the lowly banana across continents, following sugar back in time to the throes of the industrial revolution, and trailing the beef cow from birth to the fast food chains down the street. Students then examine the inequities of global food consumption - why some people have too little to eat while others eat too much. The reading portion of the course concludes with selections that analyze the intricate connections between food, identity, and the global political economy. In the final weeks of the semester, after a brief introduction to ethnographic methods, students conduct short ethnographic interviews that allow them to critically engage the scholarly literature through firsthand research in the local community. This course is an ideal introduction to anthropology, a discipline whose interests are split between the Comparative Sociology Department and the International Political Economy Program here at the University of Puget Sound.