Accepted Paper:

Home is where the food is: the co-production of food and emotional ties  

Author:

Jón Þór Pétursson (Lund University)

Paper short abstract:

To attract people to places and products, farmers and companies must produce narratives and images that arouse our appetite. In the presentation I draw upon the concept of affective labor to explain how emotional and moral ties are forged through the co-production of local and regional food.

Paper long abstract:

Imagine this: a family from the city sitting down in front of a milking stall, licking ice cream, and anxiously waiting for the curtains to be drawn. The cows enter the stall and position themselves while the robotic arm firmly locks itself on to the udder. Now the show can begin! As the ice cream slides slowly down the throat, the cow performance has already enhanced the taste of the local ice cream and quenched the desire to know where the food comes from.

Such rural theater nurtures and sustains the cultural roots of food and is one aspect of the heightened interest in local and regional food. Organizations such as the Slow Food Movement have coined the term co-production to describe an original idea: to connect producers and consumers through an active engagement. Many projects, such as selling local food directly from farms, grew out of this idea of co-production and has even made farms into special tourist destinations where people can come and experience the making of food.

In order to attract people to places and products, farmers and companies must produce narratives and images that awaken the imagination and arouse our appetite. This can be seen on enticing websites but also with on-the-spot activities such as watching cows milking. In the presentation I draw upon the concept of affective labor to explain how emotional and moral ties are forged through the co-production of local and regional food.

Panel P13
Food styles: circulating creative stories of local food culture