Monday, March 05, 2007

the place of food

Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 31, No. 1, 23-42 (2007)
DOI: 10.1177/0309132507073527
© 2007 SAGE Publications

The place of food: mapping out the ‘local’ in local food systems
Robert Feagan

Wilfrid Laurier University at Laurier Brantford, 73 George Street, Brantford, Ontario N3T 2Y3, Canada,

‘Local food systems’ movements, practices, and writings pose increasingly visible structures of resistance and counter-pressure to conventional globalizing food systems. The place of food seems to be the quiet centre of the discourses emerging with these movements. The purpose of this paper is to identify issues of ‘place’, which are variously described as the ‘local’and ‘community’ in the local food systems literature, and to do so in conjunction with the geographic discussion focused on questions and meanings around these spatial concepts. I see raising the profile of questions, complexity and potential of these concepts as an important role and challenge for the scholar-advocate in the realm of local food systems, and for geographers sorting through them. Both literatures benefit from such a foray. The paper concludes, following a ‘cautiously normative’ tone, that there is strong argument for emplacing our food systems, while simultaneously calling for careful circumspection and greater clarity regarding how we delineate and understand the ‘local’. Being conscious of the constructed nature of the ‘local’, ‘community’ and ‘place’ means seeing the importance of local social, cultural and ecological particularity in our everyday worlds, while also recognizing that we are reflexively and dialectially tied to many and diverse locals around the world.

Link to whole article (.pdf)...


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