1st Edition

Rewilding Food and the Self Critical Conversations from Europe

Edited By Tristan Fournier, Sébastien Dalgalarrondo Copyright 2023
    194 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume contributes to the return to nature movement that is very much in vogue in contemporary European societies, by examining the place of food and eating in the "rewilding" process.

    It is divided into three parts, each of which consists of conversations between social scientists, with fieldwork collected from across Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. The first part focuses on the ways in which the hunter-gatherer livelihood has been transformed into a resilient, simpler and ecological way of life. It is dedicated to hunting and identifies the contexts in which large wild game meat is consumed and the reasons why such a product is still valued today. The second part shows how some practices that aim to reconnect with natural processes are developing within a market economy. Case studies on natural wine and fasting retreats help us to identify the promises that producers and promoters are relying on in order to disseminate them. Finally, the third part considers how this process of rewilding food is expressed in post-modernity. By focusing on two normative frameworks in which the rhetoric of the wild is mobilized although it is not expected to be in these terms – urbanity and the gender order – the goal is to understand the extent to which referring to the wild in food discourses and practices contributes to challenging our identities, and to creating possible forms of emancipation.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars interested in food cultures, human nature relationships, and sustainable diets.

    Introduction. Food, self and search for the wild.

    Tristan Fournier & Sébastien Dalgalarrondo

    Part 1: The taste for tradition and the hunter-gatherer model

    1. Eating wild game: A new carnivorous morality?

    Olivier Lepiller, Ophélie Roudelle & Sandrine Dury

    2. From remorse to "hunter pride": On a study of those who eat game

    Sergio Dalla Bernardina


    Part 2: Promises and market

    3. "Natural" wines: The call of the wild grape

    Christelle Pineau

    4. The wild nature of "vins nature": An oeno-centered counterpoint

    Léo Mariani

    5. The promises of fasting: Between animal and primitive models

    Sébastien Dalgalarrondo & Tristan Fournier

    6. The self, the other and the world: The issues of today’s fasting practice

    Ophélie Bidet


    Part 3: The wild at the interstices: A way of empowerment?

    7. Foraging plants within the urban margins: On the possibilities of living with nature in the Greater Paris.

    Flaminia Paddeu & Fabien Roussel

    8. Urban scavenging: Another way to rewild the self in the city

    Sabine Mégarbané

    9. The wild side of man. How animal metaphors shape masculine food practices and midlife transitions.

    Nicoletta Diasio & Vulca Fidolini

    10. "Heavy food" and "being in nature". Revisiting male manual workers’ narratives on work, food and health.

    Gun Roos


    Conclusion. The wild in gastronomy and beyond

    Sébastien Dalgalarrondo & Tristan Fournier


    Tristan Fournier is a sociologist and research fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS – Iris, Paris).

    Sébastien Dalgalarrondo is a sociologist and research fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS – Iris, Paris).

    "This is an original and thought-provoking book about practices and meanings of 'rewilding' food across Europe. Cases of hunting game, foraging in the countryside, dumpster-diving in the city, and producing 'natural' wine uncover how fascination with the wild highlights key moral, environmental, social, and health issues in contemporary eating practices."

    Carole Counihan, Editor-in-Chief, Food and Foodways

    "There is in the attraction for the 'wild' a will to break with the established order. This theme regularly reappears in current social life and has evolved according to historical contexts. 'Rewilding Food and the Self: Critical Conversations From Europe' focuses on the contemporary version and analyzes its current and timeless social issues."

    Jean-Pierre Poulain, Université de Toulouse, France.