“Latino Food Culture in L.A.” by Sarah Portnoy
Dr. Sarah Portnoy explores the history of Latino—particularly Mexican– cuisine in Los Angeles and the contemporary Latino food scene, one that sharply contrasts with urban Latino neighborhoods where access to affordable, healthy food is a struggle. As a result, many residents of low-income Latino neighborhoods suffer from health crises including diabetes, obesity, and food insecurity. Dr. Portnoy’s talk will offer possible solutions such as expanding urban agriculture, incentivizing corner stores to include more healthy offerings and legalizing sidewalk vendors.
Sarah Portnoy received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Romance Languages and Literatures in 2005. Since 2007, Dr. Portnoy has been teaching in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where she has developed community-based Food Studies classes on Latino food culture in Los Angeles and food justice. Over the past few years, Dr. Portnoy has been invited to publish food-related articles and chapters in newspapers, peer-reviewed books and journals. Most recently, she has written articles on Mexican food and liquor for the Los Angeles Times, KCET, and the Los Angeles Weekly. Her book, Food, Health, and Culture in Latino Los Angeles, Rowman & Littlefield, November 2016, will be available at a reception following the program.Portnoy Book Cover