SammendragHow food has been valued in Norwegian society is the topic of discussion in this article with the heading: "Norwegian food and food in Norway: citizenship, public health and sensuality". In contrast to national symbols such as folk songs and folk stories, which were collected and valued as such as early as the 1850s, food gained a similar value as late as the second quarter of the 1900s. Hulda Garborg was the first one to acclaim that food grown on Norwegian land is both the best and the healthiest, in her book National kost (National Food) published in 1925. After World War II a nationwide collection of recipes was instigated by Norsk Bondekvinnelag (The Norwegian Association of Farm Women) to document Norwegian food. The result was published in the book Norsk mat (Norwegian Food). The archived material which is the basis of the book, shows a strict selection with regard to what is genuine Norwegian food (and drink). Recipes are excluded on grounds such as lack of age, inferior quality or lack of authenticity. The book propagates and consolidates, through its selection, the idea of genuine Norwegianness, an idea which has lived on and which is found in the criteria producers have to match to gain right to the etiquette 'Godt Norsk'. Some of the main criteria are that the product has to be produced with ingredients grown on Norwegian soil and on livestock born and bred in Norway. The question of the food's "citizenship" is apparently of immense value and importance to the Norwegian public, and so is the question of health connected with food. However, during the last 20 years, sensuality has gained importance in the evaluation of food. Through media participants representing food organisations, farmers' organisations and the general public have taken up the debate on whether Norwegian food products automatically are equivalent to tasty quality products or not.
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