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Chapter 11 - Food

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2021

Jeffrey Cohen
Affiliation:
Arizona State University
Stephanie Foote
Affiliation:
West Virginia University
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Summary

Approaching food systems today as a global pharmakon can help advance an Environmental Humanities response to the risks and unknowns of food. Whether it is the difficulty fish have in distinguishing microplastics from plankton, or the trouble humans who live in urban food deserts have finding fresh edibles, food in the early twenty-first century carries unprecedented threats of undernourishment, toxicity and death alongside its promise of life. Paradoxically, the ethics and politics emerging in response to the pharmakon of food may not always involve attempts to purify or certify it “free” of social and environmental ills. One alternative is to tell stories about “food-power” that highlight the agency of other species within a relational ontology that reveals human control, including efforts to control for food safety, to be a fiction. On their own, stories of food-power cannot confront the “power to devour” through which some humans assert their exceptionalism and domination. Gutsy struggles against food injustices by colonized and Indigenous people also show that food is neither an object nor a subject but a multispecies relationship protected through both story and action.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Further Reading

Coetzee, J.M. (1999). The Lives of Animals. Ed. and Intro by Gutman, Amy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Desmarais, Annette Aurelie. (2007). La Via Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants. Delhi: Daanish Books.Google Scholar
Kleeman, Faye Yuan. (2018). “The Unbearable, Endless Anxiety of Eating: Food Consumption in Japan After 3/11.” In Devouring Japan: Global Perspectives on Japanese Culinary Identity. Ed. Stalker, Nancy K.. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 302–11.Google Scholar
Leinfelder, Reinhold, Hamann, Alexandra, Kirstein, Jens, and Schleunitz, Marc-Aurel, eds. (2016). Eating Anthropocene: Curd Rice, Bienenstich and a Pinch of Phosphorous. Around the World in Ten Dishes. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mannur, Anita. (2010). Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
Patel, Raj. (2008). Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Brooklyn: Melville House Publishing.Google Scholar
Shiva, Vandana, ed. (2007). Manifestos on the Future of Food & Seed. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
Tallbear, Kim. (2019). “Being in Relation.” In Messy Eating: Conversations on Animals As Food. Eds. King, Samantha, Scott, R Carey, Isabel Macquarrie, Victoria N. Millious, and Elaine M. Power, . New York: Fordham University Press, pp. 5467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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  • Food
  • Edited by Jeffrey Cohen, Arizona State University, Stephanie Foote, West Virginia University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Environmental Humanities
  • Online publication: 12 August 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009039369.012
Available formats
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  • Food
  • Edited by Jeffrey Cohen, Arizona State University, Stephanie Foote, West Virginia University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Environmental Humanities
  • Online publication: 12 August 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009039369.012
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Food
  • Edited by Jeffrey Cohen, Arizona State University, Stephanie Foote, West Virginia University
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Environmental Humanities
  • Online publication: 12 August 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009039369.012
Available formats
×