Northern Utah Mormon Food Storage Fieldwork Collection, 1992-2002
Published by Utah State University - Merrill-Cazier Library
This collection represents interviews and documentary photographs regarding Mormon food storage activities carried out by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Cache Valley, Utah, during 1992-2002.1 The collection includes information surrounding key aspects of this foodways tradition, including gardening, food processing, food storage systems, food storage usage, and beliefs surrounding the Church members' food preservation practices.
The collection stems from Randy Williams's (USU Fife Folklore Archives Curator and folklorist) research on the belief attitudes surrounding the Church of Jesus Christ members' food storage activities. Williams writes, "foodways are a conduit of culture used to teach and perpetuate group identity and values. Ripe with semiotic meaning and functions, foodways are often used to express a group's collectively held beliefs (think eggs used for Christian Easter celebrations, roasted lamb shank bone during the Jewish Passover Seder, or dates to break fasting during the Muslim commemoration of Ramadan). Because folk ideas reflect a group's 'traditional notions' about their place in the world, folk ideas contain their 'underlying assumptions' and serve as the 'building blocks' used to construct the group's worldview."2 For many members of the Church of Jesus Christ, the belief in and practice of food storage conceptualizes their millennial worldview.