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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.

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Some key issues in understanding its competitive production and regulation
Terry Marsden

chap 6 13/8/04 4:23 pm Page 129 6 Theorising food quality: some key issues in understanding its competitive production and regulation Terry Marsden Introduction Recent debates concerning food quality offer an important window on the changing nature of broader social, political and economic relations. Not least, this has reinforced a more serious concern with understanding food consumption processes; through more theorisation and conceptualisation of social and natural factors in the context of wider consumption trends and processes (see Goodman 2002). In

in Qualities of food
Open Access (free)
Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement
Jonathan Murdoch and Mara Miele

chap 7 13/8/04 4:17 pm Page 156 7 A new aesthetic of food? Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement Jonathan Murdoch and Mara Miele Introduction In recent times, an apparent contradiction between high levels of output and improved food quality has arisen within the food sector. The development of mass food markets, alongside ‘Fordist’ methods of production and their associated economies of scale, has generated unprecedented abundance (Montanari 1994). Yet, at the same time, industrialisation processes have resulted, seemingly, in greater and

in Qualities of food
Discourses, contestation and alternative consumption
Roberta Sassatelli

chap 8 13/8/04 4:24 pm Page 176 8 The political morality of food: discourses, contestation and alternative consumption Roberta Sassatelli Anthropology and sociology have been keen to show that consumption is a social and moral field, and that consumer practices are part of an ongoing process of negotiation of social classifications and hierarchies. Food consumption in particular has been associated with symbolically mediated notions of order (Douglas and Isherwood 1979). We know that particular foods are identified with annual festivities, set apart for

in Qualities of food
Mark Tomlinson and Andrew McMeekin

6 Social routines and the consumption of food Mark Tomlinson and Andrew McMeekin In this chapter we argue that considerations of routine behaviour are essential in order to gain a realistic understanding of consumption. There are useful insights from the evolutionary accounts of decision making in firms that can be transferred to the realm of consumer behaviour. To augment the notion of routine that emerges from this literature, and specifically to explore what is social about routines, we also draw on sociological accounts of consumption that identify the

in Innovation by demand
Analysing the linkages and exploring possibilities for improving health and wellbeing
Warren Smit

The ‘food environment’ of cities can be defined as the location and type of food sources, as well as the broader environmental factors that affect the production, retail and consumption of food in cities (such as levels of infrastructure). The food environment of cities has an impact on the health and wellbeing of residents, although the measurement of this impact has proved to be difficult. Although there is a growing body of research on the effect of food environments on health, this relationship has been under-recognised and under-studied in the global south

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
David Barling

chap 5 13/8/04 4:22 pm Page 108 5 Food agencies as an institutional response to policy failure by the UK and the EU David Barling Introduction The UK public’s confidence in the quality of the modern food supply, and in the governance of that supply, took a buffeting through a series of food safety crises in the 1980s and 1990s. The much-quoted list ranged from pesticide residues to salmonella in eggs, to BSE (which was estimated as a cost of over £4 billion to the public purse) and E.coli 0157. The internal market of the EU shared in some of those incidents

in Qualities of food
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The Politics of Information and Analysis in Food Security Crises
Daniel Maxwell and Peter Hailey

three additional countries suffered – or teetered on the edge of – famine, while rapidly increasing numbers of people faced acute food insecurity of a slightly less severe degree ( FEWS NET, 2017 ; IPC, 2020 ). ‘Famine’ has both human and political connotations. In human terms, it means destruction of livelihoods – to the point of destitution with large numbers of food-insecure people, increased severe malnutrition, disease epidemics, excess death and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Food and Identity in His Life and Fiction
Emily Na

This article traces how the queer Black writer James Baldwin’s transnational palate and experiences influenced the ways he wrote about Black domestic spaces in the late twentieth century. In the 1960s and 1970s, while Black feminist cooks and writers like Edna Lewis, Jessica B. Harris, and Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor developed new theories of soul food in relation to the Black American community and broader American cuisine, Baldwin incorporated these philosophies and transnational tastes into his lifestyle and works. He traveled and worked around Europe, settling in places like Paris, Istanbul, and Saint-Paul de Vence for years at a time. In Saint-Paul de Vence, where he spent his last years, he set up his own welcome table, at which he hosted internationally renowned guests and shared his love of cuisine. Inevitably, Baldwin’s passion for cooking and hosting meals became a large, though scholarly neglected, component of his novels and essays. In his novels Another Country, which he finished in Istanbul and published in 1962, and Just Above My Head, which he finished in Saint-Paul de Vence and published in 1979, Baldwin’s depictions of food and Black kitchens take a queer turn. Instead of lingering on traditional Black family structures, these texts specifically present new formulations of intimate home life and reimagine relationships between food, kitchens, race, and sex in the late twentieth century.

James Baldwin Review
How Can Humanitarian Analysis, Early Warning and Response Be Improved?
Aditya Sarkar, Benjamin J. Spatz, Alex de Waal, Christopher Newton, and Daniel Maxwell

Introduction Depending on how one counts, nine out of the ten ‘worst humanitarian crises’ in 2021 have been caused entirely, or at least in part, by violent conflict ( IRC, 2021 ), and almost all contemporary instances of famine and mass starvation 1 have been driven – at least in part – by violent conflict ( de Waal, 2018 ). 2 While the association between armed conflict and food insecurity is complex, ranging from

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs