Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Conference of Irish Geographers
Transformations, Transitions, Transgressions: Contemporary food politics
Chair Sessions at Symposia
Optional Fields

The recent ‘horse meat’ scandal might be regarded as the latest transgression in food’s governmentality, another episode that reveals the food system’s failure to provide assurances of the health and safety of its otherwise cheap food. Yet while the corporate sector continues to strengthen its grip on the supply chain, and public policy is preoccupied with ‘restoring consumer confidence’, increasing numbers of households and communities throughout the Global North are exploring alternative arrangements for procuring their food. Relocalisation continues to resonate as the basis for greater traceability and transparency, with new forms of social organisation emerging that reveal a dynamic process of innovation and experimentation around food. Community gardens, allotments and orchards; community supported agriculture, box schemes and collective purchasing agreements: all attest to the vigour that can be found at local level creating new practices and, arguably, a new micro-politics around food. Such efforts serve to challenge and reshape narrative boundaries, even while the discourse of cheap food remains paramount, particularly at a time of economic austerity.