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Arguing with and about food from the table to policy 
Regina F. Bendix (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Raul Matta (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement)
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Monday 21 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Helsinki

Short Abstract:

In an era faced with globally intertwined challenges, social actors seek solutions for feeding the world. We look at how actors deploy power and agency to imagine, shape, resist and counter narratives about correcting, opposing, altering, or returning to food production and consumption methods.

Long Abstract:

Food is both a necessary sustenance and a communicative system reaching from the interpersonal to the planetary level. In a world unevenly endowed with ecological and financial opportunities to grow/produce and/or purchase food, there are large differences in how food is worked with, positioned and deployed. Food supplies are entangled between traditional (and taboo-laden), scientifically researched, and industrially produced methods of gathering and growing, farming, hunting, and raising/slaughtering edibles. As the world is more interconnected and the earth's resources are getting depleted, there is rising argument about how to best feed a growing population while also addressing pollution, climate change, eco-system frailties, among many other factors. Political and social actors seek to find solutions for feeding the world population (including its domesticated animals) in the face of these challenges. Yet, generating solid bases for the quest for solutions is contested terrain from the domestic level to the level of national and global policy: battles of interests, knowledge and beliefs unfold to cajole, convince, direct, or force one another to embrace particular food production and consumption regimes. This panel provides a platform for research that looks at how actors deploy power and agency to imagine, shape, resist and counter narratives about correcting, altering, opposing or returning to longstanding food production methods. How do they engage in argument over clear-cutting and fertilizers? How do they lobby for alternate protein sources to meat? or, conversely, how do they push for synthetic foods, abandoning meal structures, avoiding packaging, or growing their own vegetables?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Monday 21 June, 2021, -