Roe, Emma J.
Material connectivity, the immaterial and the aesthetic of eating practices: an argument for how genetically modified foodstuff becomes inedible
Environment and Planning A, 38, (3), . (doi:10.1068/a3835).
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Concern about eating biotechnologically produced foodstuffs is embedded within the complex relationship between food, science, politics, and everyday eating practices. In this paper I consider how this concern is expressed less at the reflexive level of opinions and attitudes and more at the nonreflexive level of eating practices. Therefore, I draw upon literatures that talk of a practical everyday aesthetic and literatures that assert the significance of the material to geographical work, and go on to argue for the significance of a material connective aesthetic within eating practices. This argument is developed empirically and theoretically by considering to what extent consumers can discuss the edibility of different types of carrots in terms of superficial material qualities, integral material qualities, and the immaterial. Crucially, the process of edibility formation is thus understood as relationally embedded in the material environment. This provokes a realisation for an ethics and a politics of (im)material connectivities. This work contributes to geographical work in which an embodied affective ethic is employed, by arguing that the transversal qualities of the material are as significant as the transversal qualities of ‘affect’. It is relevant to those studying consumption, biogeographies, and nonreflexive practices.
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