Donut Anthropologist Answers All of Your Burning Donut Questions

Paul Mullins 1

June 6 was National Doughnut Day, the day when Krispy Kreme gives away donuts, and artisan shops debut a new wacky creation like “zombie donuts” with cheddar larvae. Time Magazine interviewed Dr. Paul R. Mullins, Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, and author of Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut, which explores the pastry as a way to look at the evolution of American consumer culture.

“In pop culture, the donut symbolism begins and ends with Homer Simpson. I suspect he made consumers more receptive to eating donuts because he does what we want to do — owns up to his bodily desires and doesn’t care if he’s carrying a little extra luggage in the center. But we’ve been disciplined to look at donuts as being bad foods, and Homer almost makes them not seem so bad,” Mullins explained.

For more of the interview, read the article here.