1st Edition

Food and the Risk Society The Power of Risk Perception

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book offers a comprehensive understanding of the current scientific knowledge concerning risks associated with food preparation, processing and consumption, with particular attention to the gap between scientific research and public perception. Examining the effects of food on the body from both micro and macro levels, it covers a range of broad themes and current concerns, including obesity and the 'obesity epidemic', the benefits or otherwise of dietary supplements, caffeine consumption, GM food, alcohol, organic food, the consumption of fruit and vegetables, and pathogens and contaminants.

    Thematically arranged according to the application of broad theoretical approaches in sociological theory – the socio-cultural perspective, the risk society perspective and the governmentality perspective – each chapter focuses on a particular area of interest or concern in relation to food, covering the existing literature in detail and offering illustrative empirical examples, whilst identifying gaps in knowledge and areas for further research. An accessible and rigorous examination of food and health, and the discrepancy between scientific opinion and consumer perception of safe food – the real risks versus the perceived risks – this book will appeal to scholars and students of sociology, geography, food, nutrition and environmental ecosystems, as well as health professionals.

    List of Figures and Tables




    1. Food and health from a risk perspective

    2. Sociological risk discourse frameworks

    The Socio-Cultural Risk Perspective

    3. Obesity - the new normal

    4. Caffeine - a common psychoactive stimulant - within a socio-cultural risk perspective

    5. Alcohol consumption and the socio-cultural risk discourse

    6. The risks and benefits of dietary supplements

    7. A socio-cultural risk perspective on contrived diets

    The Risk Society Perspective of Modern Industrialisation

    8. The genetically modified food credibility gap

    9. Risk perception of foodborne pathogens

    10. Organic food – reinventing traditional food production?

    Governmentality Risk Perspective

    11. Tasty and toxic – a culinary risk dilemma

    12. Unbalanced diet – a public health risk issue

    13. Concluding remarks and the future




    Charlotte Fabiansson has a PhD in Sociology and is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminal Justice at Victoria University Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of Pathways to Excessive Gambling: A Societal Perspective on Youth and Adult Gambling Pursuits.

    Stefan Fabiansson is a veterinary scientist and an independent researcher with a focus on public health and food safety. He has held positions as Professor in Food Safety at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Chief Scientist at the NSW Food Authority, Australia and as Head of the Unit for Dietary and Chemical Monitoring at the European Food Safety Authority.