Open Access (free)

This book explores the new applications of established theories or adapts theoretical approaches in order to illuminate behaviour in the field of food. It focuses on social processes at the downstream end of the food chain, processes of distribution and consumption. The book reviews the existing disciplinary approaches to understanding judgements about food taste. It suggests that the quality 'halal' is the result of a social and economic consensus between the different generations and cultures of migrant Muslims as distinct from the non-Muslim majority. Food quality is to be viewed in terms of emergent cognitive paradigms sustained within food product networks that encompass a wide range of social actors with a wide variety of intermediaries, professional and governmental. The creation of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) occurred at a juncture when perceptions of policy failure were acknowledged at United Kingdom and European Union governmental levels. The book presents a case study of retailer-led food governance in the UK to examine how different 'quality logics' actually collide in the competitive world of food consumption and production. It argues that concerns around food safety were provoked by the emergence of a new food aesthetic based on 'relationalism' and 'embeddedness'. The book also argues that the study of the arguments and discourses deployed to criticise or otherwise qualify consumption is important to the political morality of consumption.

The case of Maghrebi Muslims in France
Florence Bergeaud-Blackler

chap 4 13/8/04 4:21 pm Page 94 4 Social definitions of halal quality: the case of Maghrebi Muslims in France1 Florence Bergeaud-Blackler In French mosques, the rules surrounding the consumption of food and drink (such as pork and alcohol), as well as table manners (using the right hand rather than the left to convey food to the mouth) and eating patterns (fasting during the month of Ramadan), are subject to frequent inquiry, along with those concerning marriage, sexuality and dress code. All such questions have one point in common: they question the limits

in Qualities of food