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Accepted Paper:

Scientific imagination and magical ingredients: towards an anthropology of technofood  
Kim Hendrickx (KU Leuven)

Paper short abstract:


Paper long abstract:

In January 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was to publish a list of accepted health claims made on industrial food products. Most of these health claims concern the alleged benefits of micronutrients present in or added to industrial food products or functional foods. The first part of this paper will give an overview of innovation and technology in the European food industry with the aim of providing physical or psychological health benefits 'beyond basic nutrition'. In the second part, food will be looked at through the lens of power. Throughout human history, different authorities have prescribed what one should (not) eat. What is at stake then, when health claims and food become technological? Finally, it will be tentatively argued that an anthropology of technofood should translate the discourse of market, competitiveness and 'optimized health' in terms of techno-scientific imagination, magical thinking and (bio)power.

Panel W010
Food: crisis and creativity
  Session 1