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Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World

Yuson Jung

Publication Year: 2014

Current discussions of the ethics around alternative food movements--concepts such as "local," "organic," and "fair trade"--tend to focus on their growth and significance in advanced capitalist societies. In this groundbreaking contribution to critical food studies, editors Yuson Jung, Jakob A. Klein, and Melissa L. Caldwell explore what constitutes "ethical food" and "ethical eating" in socialist and formerly socialist societies. With essays by anthropologists, sociologists, and geographers, this politically nuanced volume offers insight into the origins of alternative food movements and their place in today's global economy. Collectively, the essays cover discourses on food and morality; the material and social practices surrounding production, trade, and consumption; and the political and economic power of social movements in Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Lithuania, Russia, and Vietnam. Scholars and students will gain important historical and anthropological perspective on how the dynamics of state-market-citizen relations continue to shape the ethical and moral frameworks guiding food practices around the world.

Published by: University of California Press

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Earlier versions of the chapters in this volume were presented at an international workshop on “Ethical Foods and Food Movements in Postsocialist Settings,” co-organized by the editors and held on May 11–13, 2011, at the Food Studies Centre, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of...

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Introduction: Ethical Eating and (Post)socialist Alternatives

Jakob A. Klein, Yuson Jung, and Melissa L. Caldwell

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pp. 1-24

In spring 2013, alternative food activists and their supporters took to the streets around the world to protest against GM (genetically modified) foods and Monsanto, arguably one of the most visible symbols behind the spread of genetically modified seeds. Organizers claimed that more than two million people throughout...

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1. Homogenizing Europe: Raw Milk, Risk Politics, and Moral Economies in Europeanizing Lithuania

Diana Mincyte

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pp. 25-43

In July 2009, something quite unusual began to appear in the lobbies of Lithuania’s largest supermarket stores—colorful raw milk vending machines that dispensed milk that had been delivered to the supermarkets directly from the farm. The lines of customers at these machines were long but moved...

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2. The Moral Significance of Food in Reform-Era Rural China

Ellen Oxfeld

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pp. 44-68

In discussions of the food system of contemporary China, many analysts have focused on the rise of fast foods and agribusiness, and the dominance of petrochemicals in agriculture.1 These developments raise questions for China, as they have elsewhere, about how chemical agricultural inputs, and fast and...

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3. Placing Alternative Food Networks: Farmers’ Markets in Post-Soviet Vilnius, Lithuania

Renata Blumberg

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pp. 69-92

Farmers’ markets have experienced growing popularity in Europe and North America in recent years, in many ways becoming emblematic of new trends to foster alternatives to industrially produced, processed, and marketed food. Activists and scholars alike imagine farmers’ markets as ideal places for reconnection...

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4. Ambivalent Consumers and the Limits of Certification: Organic Foods in Postsocialist Bulgaria

Yuson Jung

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pp. 93-115

In the summer of 2012, I accompanied an old friend to a large and crowded supermarket in the basement of a new shopping mall in Sofia, Bulgaria. The supermarket was owned by a French corporation specializing in wholesale goods, and it had a large section devoted to organic products. This was marked...

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5. Connecting with the Countryside? “Alternative” Food Movements with Chinese Characteristics

Jakob A. Klein

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pp. 116-143

In March 2012 a friend took me for a meal at The Earthbound Restaurant (Tusheng Shiguan). Opened the previous month in a former factory building on the outskirts of downtown Kunming, the restaurant reminded me of many of the other country-style eating places that were popular in the Yunnanese...

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6. Vegetarian Ethics and Politics in Late-Socialist Vietnam

Nir Avieli

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pp. 144-166

In 2000, there were only three vegetarian restaurants (com chay) in the small town of Hoi An in central Vietnam. One tiny restaurant was located in a narrow back-alley in the ancient quarter (pho co), another was a makeshift shed situated by one of the town’s main thoroughfares, and the third was located...

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7. Agroecology and the Cuban Nation

Marisa Wilson

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pp. 167-187

I first met Eduardo, a small-scale Cuban farmer or parcelero, in 2004.1 The meeting was organized by agronomists from the Agrarian University of Havana who told me that Eduardo and his family were famous in Cuba for informing the nation about agroecological production. Eduardo described himself in this...

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8. Gardening for the State: Cultivating Bionational Citizens in Postsocialist Russia

Melissa L. Caldwell

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pp. 188-210

While the impact of Russia’s rapidly growing car culture is evident both in the heavy traffic and gridlock that now clogs the country’s roadways and in the environmental pollution from car exhaust that hangs in the air, it also appears in the country’s food supply. Transit has become the medium by which...

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Afterword: Ethical Food Systems: Between Suspicion and Hope

Harry G. West

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pp. 211-216

In the autumn of 2002, Peter Rossett delivered a paper entitled “Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance: Transforming Food Production in Cuba” in the Program in Agrarian Studies Colloquium at Yale University.1 As a resident fellow of the program, I was asked to serve as commentator on the paper...

Contributors

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pp. 217-220

Index

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pp. 221-224


E-ISBN-13: 9780520958142
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520277403

Page Count: 235
Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Food -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Food -- Social aspects.
  • Food consumption -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Food consumption -- Social aspects.
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