This book offers a much-needed reframing of food discourse by presenting alternative ways of thinking about the changing politics of food, eating, and nutrition. It examines critical epistemological questions of how food knowledge comes to be shaped and why we see pendulum swings when it comes to the question of what to eat.
As food facts peak and peril in the face of conflicting dietary advice and nutritional evidence, this book situates shifting food truths through a critical analysis of how healthy eating is framed and contested, particularly amid fluctuating truth claims of a "post-truth" culture. It explores what a post-truth epistemological framework can offer critical food studies, considers the type of questions this may enable, and what can be gained by relinquishing rigid empirical pursuits of singular dietary truths. In only focusing on separating food fact from food fiction, the book argues that politically dangerous and epistemically narrow ideas of one way to eat "healthy" or "right" are perpetuated. Drawing on archival materials and interviews with registered dietitians, this book offers a genealogical overview of shifting food knowledge from ancient times to modern day nutritionism, as well as in-depth explorations of three contemporary case studies: dairy, wheat, and meat.
Providing a rich and innovative analysis, this book offers news ways to think about our increasingly complex food landscapes that aims to loosen our reliance on singular food facts in favour of contextual food truths. It will be of interest to students, scholars, and practitioners working in food studies, food politics, sociology, environmental geography, health, nutrition, and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Food Facts in a Post-Truth Culture 1. Western Genealogies of Healthy Eating: From Humoural Medicine to Modern Nutritionism 2. Shifting Food Facts of Canada’s Food Guides, 1942–2019 3. Dairy: Beyond "Got" and "Not" Milk 4. Wheat: Global Staple, Modern Health Scourge 5. Meat: The False Divides between Veganism and Carnism Conclusions The Trouble with Singular Food Truths
Alissa Overend is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at MacEwan University. She researches in the areas of critical food, health, and nutrition studies and is interested in the shaping of contemporary health and illness phenomena and the politics of knowledge therein.