ERIC Number: EJ913258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
The Demand for Healthy Eating: Supporting a Transformative Food "Movement"
Rural Sociology, v75 n4 p584-600 Dec 2010
To the extent that social science scholarship engages real-world developments it remains grounded and better able to resist elite agendas. With this in mind this article argues for the critical encounter with what I argue is the most significant struggle around food and agriculture today--the amorphous and broad-based movement that strives to resist the further degradation of food environments and ensure healthy eating in society. This struggle is inevitably engaged with contemporary neoliberal agendas that have transformed and degraded food environments as they have privileged profit making over healthy diets. The article considers different sites where the struggle over healthy eating is taking place, both at the level of the state and more extensively in civil society. It considers the debate over bovine growth hormone in Canada and the wider efforts to turn around school food environments as examples of state-centered and civil-society struggles, respectively, that illustrate different dimensions of the healthy-eating movement today. In each case the agendas of transnational food corporations are seen to be directly contradicting efforts to ensure healthy diets. The article considers some notable successes among advocates of healthy eating, in the United States and Canada and most notably in Britain, and examines some of the factors that may account for this success. Overall, I argue that this struggle has the potential to challenge the hegemony of neoliberal discourse in fundamental ways. The article concludes with a call for academics, and rural sociologists in particular, to give a much greater priority to healthy-eating struggles, and considers a number of areas where academic practitioners can aid activists' efforts to resist the further degradation of diets and establish healthier food environments.
Descriptors: Nutrition, Agricultural Production, Biochemistry, Foreign Countries, Health Behavior, Eating Habits, Rural Areas, Agriculture, Political Attitudes, Educational Environment, Food, Corporations, Rural Sociology, Health Promotion
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United Kingdom; United States