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Food03a


Breaking norms and traditions in pursuit of sustainable foodways 
Convenors:
Matilda Marshall (Örebro University)
Liia-Maria Raippalinna (University of Jyväskylä)
Andreas Backa (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, Åbo Akademi University)
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Discussant:
Cristina Romanelli (NOVA University Lisbon)
Stream:
Food
Format:
Panel Roundtable
Sessions:
Thursday 24 June, 10:00-11:45 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

The pursuit of sustainable foodways questions our eating habits, and the way we produce and communicate food. It involves the breaking of old rules, making of new ones, and bending of both. What kind of transgressions are, and are not, made when seeking more sustainable foodways?

Long Abstract

The pursuit of a sustainable future involves the breaking of old rules, making of new ones, and bending of both. What kind of transgressions are, and are not, made when seeking more sustainable foodways?

The current food system is increasingly framed as ecologically unsustainable, requiring major changes in production and consumption practices. Some foods are constructed as threatening while others are presented as 'ethical', 'green', 'climate-friendly', 'carbon-low' etc. Calls for altering foodways question both what and how we eat, and how we produce and communicate food. At the same time, they may challenge norms and relations relating to e.g. economy, gender or national identity.

Meanwhile, food and eating habits are often perceived as inert; changing them may seem impossible. In the Nordic countries for instance, the first tomatoes and pizzas were met with skepticism before eventually incorporated into everyday food culture. What consequences does this inertness have for (transforming) norms around food and eating? How are attempts of norm-breaking facilitated, and on the other hand, opposed?

This panel and subsequent roundtable focus on norm making and norm breaking (practices) relating to food consumption and sustainability (in a broad sense). We welcome empirical and theoretical contributions exploring transgressions and contestations around food norms/rules in different parts of the food chain. In the roundtable, we encourage discussion on, if and how ethnologists can produce practically usable knowledge and participate in the pursuit of sustainable foodways. Please indicate in your proposal if you wish to participate with a paper and/or in the roundtable.

Accepted contributions: