1st Edition

The Political Relevance of Food Media and Journalism Beyond Reviews and Recipes

Edited By Elizabeth Fakazis, Elfriede Fürsich Copyright 2023
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    Interrogating the intersections of food, journalism, and politics, this book offers a critical examination of food media and journalism, and its political potential against the backdrop of contemporary social challenges.

    Contributors analyze current and historic examples such as #BlackLivesMatter, COVID-19, climate change, Brexit, food sovereignty, and identity politics, highlighting how food media and journalism reach beyond the commercial imperatives of lifestyle journalism to negotiate nationalism, globalization, and social inequalities. The volume challenges the idea that food media/journalism are trivial and apolitical by drawing attention to the complex ways that storytelling about food has engaged political discourses in the past, and the innovative ways it is doing so today.

    Bringing together international scholars from a variety of disciplines, the book will be of great interest to scholars and students of journalism, communication, media studies, food studies, sociology, and anthropology.

    Notes on Contributors

    Introduction: From the Racist Sandwich to Civil Eats: How Food Journalism Is Engaging with Politics
    Elizabeth Fakazis and Elfriede Fürsich

    Part I: Engaging with Systems of Injustice and Disparity

    1. Influencer Activism: Visibility, Strategy, and #BlackLivesMatter Discourse on Food Instagram
    Tisha Dejmanee

    2. Super Bowl Food Politics: On the Menu, on the Screen, and on the Field
    Emily J. H. Contois

    3. Agribusiness, Environmental Conflict, and Food in Travel Journalism: Image Work for the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick
    Lyn McGaurr

    4. Who Speaks and Are We Listening? Food Sovereign Voices in a Changing Climate
    Alana Mann

    Part II: Raising Questions of Legitimacy, Power, and Good Citizenship

    5. From Bad Boys to Heroes: Culinary Philanthropy and Good Citizenship in the Age of COVID-19
    Kathleen LeBesco and Peter Naccarato
    6. Cooking in the Time of Corona: The Politicized Domesticity of Food Journalism in The New York Times
    Elfriede Fürsich

    7. Paleo and Pain Free: Reporting on Scandals of Food Celebrities
    Katherine Kirkwood

    Part III: Negotiating Regional, National, and Global Identities

    8. Of Clay Stoves and Cooking Pots: “Village Food” Videos and Gastro-Politics in Contemporary India
    Sumana Kasturi

    9. How the Bendy Banana Became a Symbol of Anti-EU Sentiment: British Media, Political Mythology, and Populism
    Mary Irwin and Ana Tominc

    10. Heritage, Belonging, and Promotion: Food Journalism Reconsidered
    Unni From Andreasen and Alberte Borne Asmusse

    Part IV: Recovering History and (Re)producing Memory

    11. Patriotic Hens, Tomato Turbans, and Mock Fish: The Daily Mail Food Bureau and National Identity during the First World War
    Sarah Lonsdale

    12. Influencer before the Internet: The Extraordinary Career of Chef, Editor, and Food Entrepreneur Alma Lach
    Kimberly Voss

    13. Chef’s Table and a Collective Past: Netflix, Food Media, and Cultural Memories
    Diana Willis



    Elizabeth Fakazis is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Design & Communication at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, USA.

    Elfriede Fürsich is Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

    "In the contemporary moment, food content—whether on Netflix, YouTube, the New York Times or Tik Tok—sits front and centre of post-broadcast media and journalism. No longer relegated to lifestyle supplements or the domestic realm, celebrity chefs and food journalists mix it up with politicians, climate change activists, and “me too” campaigners. Elizabeth Fakazis and Elfriede Fürsich’s timely and fascinating collection speaks to the power and political impact of food journalism at a time when an intensely mediatised foodie culture meets growing public awareness of ethical, environmental, labour, and animal rights issues in the food sphere. From food blogging and black lives matters to bad boy chefs practising culinary philanthropy, this rich array of chapters provided by an international cast of culinary scholars speak to the centrality of the critical politics of food to our everyday media engagement with food media and so-called lifestyle journalism. This book is a must read for journalism students, critical food studies scholars, and general readers interested in food citizenship, food media, and the politics of everyday life."
    Tania Lewis, author of 'Digital Food: From Paddock to Platform' and Co-Director of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

    "Can lifestyle journalism ever contribute to civic responsibility? Is contemporary food media a symptom of the narcissism of high consumption and self-serving entrepreneurialism? Are Instagram and Twitter new sites of democratization of public culture or do they mark the death of common debate and discussion? Posing the most important questions that haunt food media today, this volume, carefully collected and closely argued, delivers bracing critique and surprising commentary on the viability of a journalism of everyday life, while alerting us to the symptoms of the fractious death of a common public culture."
    Krishnendu Ray, author of ‘The Ethnic Restaurateur,” Food Studies, New York University, USA

    "Food cultures and practices can be political, but often in covert ways. Thoughtful and impassioned journalism uncovers these politics, bringing issues such as food insecurity, environmental degradation, racism, classism, sexism, the cult of celebrity, and nationalism to the attention of the world. This wonderful book provides many examples of how food journalism and digital media content creators can challenge inequities, create controversy, and call for change."
    Deborah Lupton, Vitalities Lab and Australian Research Centre for Automated Decision-Making and Society, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia
    "Showcasing work from leading and emerging scholars and bringing together international and interdisciplinary perspectives, this volume offers a rich exploration into the intersections of food, media, and politics. A welcome, and timely, addition to the growing field of food communication, this project centers on the political relevance of food media and journalism and investigates their influence on personal and civic lives. A must-read for students and scholars in the fields of communication, media, and journalism, and anyone interested in food communication and politics."
    Alla Tovares, co-editor of ‘Identity and Ideology in Digital Food Discourse,’ Howard University, USA