Few aspects of human life are so deeply connected with basic survival and, at the same time, with symbolic and socially constructed elements than food. This paper presents and analyses data on food choice among the inhabitants of Ituqui Island, Lower Amazon, Pará state. The staples on Ituqui Island are represented by the traditional Amazonian combination of fish and farinha (manioc flour). It is also apparent an effort of diversification concomitantly to ways of cotemporizing the continuities of everyday life with social constructions of class, which appear to shape the processes of food choice and consumption. Even though, there is not a positive correlation between high status foods and the staples. In addition, many discursive ways of representing food appear to contradict the social practices, which are characterized by flexibility and negotiation of sociopolitical domains. Such domains include the household and community micro-politics as well as broader political-economy contexts of regional and transnational markets. Thus, through these mediating qualities potential forces of change and conflict are accommodated. In conclusion, the ways we de-codify our physical experiences and biological needs engage into a dialectical relation with our social desires and habitual structures, which can only be understood when the contextual conditions of the moment of action are contemplated.
food; caboclos; Amazon; ecology