Roe, Emma J.
Things becoming food and the embodied, material practices of an organic food consumer
Sociologia Ruralis, 46, (2), . (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9523.2006.00402.x).
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The challenge to study the embodied, practical experience of consumption is attracting increasing interest in agro-food studies (Lockie 2002). This paper argues for attention to be turned towards the bodies of animals, plants and humans, materially connected through the agro-food network, to enable a study of the embodied, practical experience of consumption. This paper apprehends the relationship between humans and nonhumans in two empirical examples from the agro-food network through applying a `relational materialist' (Thrift 1999) approach. This approach is worked through by drawing upon the concepts of `affordances' (Gibson 1979; 1982) and `intercorporeality' (Weiss 1999) and through introducing the concept of `things becoming food'. A live art performance of sushi being made is discussed to show how embodied practices materially transform the fish into sushi, from production to consumption. Excerpts from the video diary of an organic food consumer and his talk are compared to explore the practice of eating or not eating between potato and human. The findings contribute to debates on nonhuman methodologies, embodied consumption practices, food quality and the intimate material connections between bodies that eat and bodies that are eaten.
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