Fact file

Editors accomplished women

The editors of this week's Big Read choice, Food, Foodways And Foodscapes, are accomplished women.

Geographer Lily Kong, late of the National University of Singapore (NUS), is now the Provost of the Singapore Management University.

A prolific author, one of her best-known books is another one on food titled simply Singapore Hawker Centres: People, Places, Food.

At the launch of their recent book on Nov 6, Kong had the audience in stitches when she said that when she told friends she was writing a book on food, they were disappointed to learn that it would not be a guide to Singapore's best eats.

Sociologist Vineeta Sinha is professor at NUS' Department of Sociology and concurrently head of that department as well as NUS' South Asian Studies Programme.

While her focus is on aspects of Hinduism, she is also well regarded as an expert on food history.

Among other things, she is featured in the 2013 documentary titled Eat To Live: Wartime Recipes, a six- part DVD series which examines how people in Singapore coped with a lack of food during the Japanese Occupation.

As Sinha mused at one point in this documentary, people then actually ate rather healthily, having only home-grown vegetables and roots such as tapioca and kangkong, with very little sugar and salt available in the market, much less meat.

"People then were eating what we call 'organic food' now," she quipped.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 15, 2015, with the headline 'Editors accomplished women'. Print Edition | Subscribe