A new aesthetic of food?
Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement
in Qualities of food

This chapter examines some contemporary understandings of quality prevalent within alternative food markets and networks. In order to study the aesthetic dimension more closely, the chapter begins by considering the relationship between economic and aesthetic discourses in the food sector. The chapter argues that concerns around food safety are provoked by the emergence of a new food aesthetic based on 'relationalism' and 'embeddedness'. It also argues that the concern for embeddedness brings 'relational reflexivity' to the fore among consumers. The chapter examines the role of new social movements in heightening awareness of the economic, social and environmental relationships that surround food-stuffs. The Soil Association (SA) campaigns to increase the amount of organic food produced and consumed within the UK and acts to certify organic standards on farms and in food-processing enterprises.

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