Media interest in food has intensified in recent years, leading to a contemporary food landscape where ‘alternative’ food practices are increasingly visible. Concerns that were once exclusively the domain of activist movements motivated by environmental, animal rights, health and anti-corporate agendas are now central to primetime television cooking shows, mobile apps and social media.
This book is the first to explore the impact of popular media and culture on contemporary food politics. Through examination of a range of media and cultural texts, including news, digital media, advertising and food labelling, it brings together leading and emerging scholars in food studies, media and communications, sociology, law, policy studies, business, and geography. The book explores the practices of alternative food movements, the marketing techniques of conventional and alternative food producers, and the relationships between food industries, media, and the public. Covering topics ranging from agtech start-ups and social justice projects, to new ways of mediating food waste, celebrity, and ‘ethical’ foods, Alternative Food Politics reveals the importance of media as a driver of food system transformation.
This is a pivotal time for media and food industries, and this book is essential reading for scholars and students seeking to better understand the futures, possibilities and limits of food politics today.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Thinking 'With' Media: Margins, Mainstreams and the Media Politics of Food PART 1: Limits and Paradoxes 1. The (Continuing) Paradox of the Organic Label: Reflections on US Trajectories in the Era of Mainstreaming 2. Mainstreaming New Nordic Cuisine? Alternative Food Politics and the Problems of Scale Jumping and Scale Bending 3. When Carrots Become Posh: Untangling the Relationship Between ‘Heritage’ Foods and Social Distinction PART 2: New Political Platforms 4. Promising Sustainable Foods: Entrepreneurial Visions of Sustainable Food Futures 5. The Welcome Dinner Project: Food Hospitality Activism and Digital Media 6. Food sovereignty: Deep Histories, Digital Activism and the Emergence of a Transnational Public PART 3: Personal Food Politics and Entanglements 7. It’s Not (Just) About the F-ckin’ Animals: How Veganism is Changing, and Why that Matters 8. Vitalities and Visceralities: Alternative Body/Food Politics in Digital Media 9. The Ethical Masquerade: (Un)masking Mechanisms of Power Behind ‘Ethical’ Meat PART 4: Reframing Production and Consumption 10. The Consumer Labelling Turn in Farmed Animal Welfare Politics: From the Margins of Animal Advocacy to Mainstream Supermarket Shelves 11. Confronting Food Waste in MasterChef Australia: Media Production and Recalcitrant Matter 12. Supermarkets, Celebrity Chefs and Private Labels: The ‘Alternative’ Reframing of Processed Foods
Michelle Phillipov is a lecturer in Media at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Her work explores how media’s intensified interest in the provenance of food and the ethics of food production is shaping public debate, consumer politics, and media and food industry practices.
Katherine Kirkwood is a PhD candidate at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Her research investigates popular culture’s relationship with everyday Australian food culture and how media and cultural texts inform and shape Australians’ approach to food, their culinary interests and concerns.