Local and Organic Food Movements

Authored by: Ryan T. Adams

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Anthropology

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138782877
eBook ISBN: 9781315768946
Adobe ISBN: 9781317667964


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Brooklyn, New York is an area of New York City recently known as a hotspot for “hipsters” with their long beards, nerd glasses, throwback fashions, and hyper-specific food preferences. Beyond the hipster scene are signs of a fascination with local food among the emblematic food trucks, anti-fashion restaurant scene, amid dinner party conversations, and at public events. The fascination with local food is drawn from a constellation of critiques of capitalism, food production practices, nutrition, and globalization along with a sense of nostalgia for lost “authentic” foodways. 1 In Julie Guthman’s (2004) study of organic farming in California, she found that thirty-five percent of the organic farms sold their crops at farmers’ markets, indicating that there is a connection between the organic food movement (OFM) and the local food movement (LFM), even if local food is not always organic, and organic food is sometimes shipped long distances. While the LFM and OFM are present across the globe, my focus in this chapter will be on the way these movements have taken place in the United States and how anthropologists have studied the American versions of these food movements.

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