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The ghosts of taste: food and the cultural politics of authenticity

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  • Kaelyn Stiles

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  • Özlem Altıok
  • Michael Bell

Abstract

We add a political culture dimension to the debate over the politics of food. Central to food politics is the cultural granting of authenticity, experienced through the conjuring of relational presences of authorship. These presences derive from the faces and the places of relationality, what we term the ghosts of taste, by which food narratives articulate claims of the authorship of food by people and environments, and thus claim of authenticity. In this paper, we trace the often-conflicting presences of authenticating ghosts in food along a prominent axis of current debate: the local versus the global. The three cases outlined here—Greek food, Thousand Island dressing, and wild rice—illustrate the recovery and suppression of the lingering spirits of both local and global faces and places in what we taste, and show the mutually interdependent consequence of culture and economics in food politics. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Suggested Citation

  • Kaelyn Stiles & Özlem Altıok & Michael Bell, 2011. "The ghosts of taste: food and the cultural politics of authenticity," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(2), pages 225-236, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:28:y:2011:i:2:p:225-236 DOI: 10.1007/s10460-010-9265-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patricia Allen & Julie Guthman, 2006. "From “old school” to “farm-to-school”: Neoliberalization from the ground up," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(4), pages 401-415, December.
    2. Jack Kloppenburg & Neva Hassanein, 2006. "From old school to reform school?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), pages 417-421.
    3. Julie Guthman, 2007. "Commentary on teaching food: Why I am fed up with Michael Pollan et al," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 24(2), pages 261-264, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heather Looy & Florence Dunkel & John Wood, 2014. "How then shall we eat? Insect-eating attitudes and sustainable foodways," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), pages 131-141.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Place; Food; Localism; Food systems; Agriculture; Authenticity;

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