Deciding what to eat and how to eat it are two of the most basic acts of everyday life, yet every choice implies a value judgement: 'good' foods versus 'bad', 'proper' and 'improper' ways of eating. From parents to political leaders, our food decisions are mediated by a range of social, political and economic authorities. Eating practices and preferences are shaped by these external agencies - no matter whether they are accepted or resisted.
Unlike other studies of the cultural politics of food, this book is unique in its coverage of a range of cultural authorities at different scales – local, national and global – and in its examination of the interplay between them and the individual consumer. It places the body at the heart of its analysis, interrogating not only how the individual's embodied eating practices incorporate and reject these authorities, but also how these authorities are created and shaped by the acts of individuals.
Ethnographic case studies from Ecuador, the USA, UK and Australia inform this analysis of the power dynamics at play in the contemporary food system. Moving from the intimacy of the domestic sphere to the local community and on to a national and political stage and the global world of social media, the author explores how these varying scales of authority are created, upheld and challenged by the individual's relationship with food.
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