In many Greek myths, a series of oppositions and identities is set up around the foods that creatures eat. The foods distinguish mankind from animals, and mankind from gods. The main alimentary code is built around the rite of sacrifice. Almost every slaughter of a domestic mammal or bird was understood as a rite of sacrifice dedicated to a deity. Every time ancient Greeks or Romans ate meat, they validated and confirmed these classes of beings:
|Type of Being
||raw meat, unprocessed vegetables
||Polyphemus the cyclops eats Odysseus's companions raw, showing that he is not human.
||cooked meat, processed foods (wine, cheese, olives)
||Demeter accidentally eats a boiled piece of Pelops' shoulder.
||smoke of sacrifice, ambrosia, nectar
||The Hymn to Hermes has Hermes wanting to eat the meat of sacrifice, but instead resisting and just enjoying the smoke.
This "food code" is explained in Claude Lévi-Strauss The Raw and The Cooked and expanded upon in the work of Jean-Pierre Vernant and Marcel Detienne. 
- ↑ Jean-Pierre Vernant, "Sacrificial and Alimentary Codes in Hesiod's Myth of Prometheus,"in Myth, Religion, and Society: Structuralist Essays by M.Detienne, L. Gernet,J.-P. Vernant and P. Vidal-Naquet., ed. R.P. Gordon, Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press 1991,p. 57-79. [http://www.amazon.com/The-Cuisine-Sacrifice-Among-Greeks/dp/0226143538 Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant, The Cuisine of Sacrifice Among the Greeks, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.