In Everyday Food Practices, Tarunna Sebastian explores the teaching and learning dimensions of people’s food choices and practices as they are played out in their everyday lives and local community. Using multi-sited critical ethnographic methodology, Sebastian followed people on their journeys while planning, shopping, preparing, cooking, and eating food. These journeys reveal that supermarket corporations play a hegemonic role, creating and sustaining class-based diets and cultural dynamics which undermine individual agency. Rebuking corporate hegemony, food education at counter-cultural sites—such as farmers’ markets, food cooperatives, and community gardens—seeks to empower people with knowledge and skills derived from socially and environmentally sustainable food curricula. However, class and ethnicity-based patterns of engagement compromise learning at these sites. Sebastian argues that, by contrast, the embodied experiences of inter-generational, home-based food practices are more effective in teaching sustainable cooking skills and the production of healthy meals.
Tarunna Sebastian is lecturer at the University of Sydney.
Chapter 1: Everyday Food Practices: Commercialisation and Consumption in the Periphery of the Global North
Chapter 2: Food Procurement Preferences and Choices
Chapter 3: Privileging the Market: Public Pedagogies and Curricula of Food Corporation
Chapter 4: Counter-Hegemonic Pedagogies and Curriculum in Food Provision and Practice
Chapter 5: Food Preparation, Cooking and Eating
Chapter 6: Negotiating and Challenging Pedagogies and Curricula of Food Preparation and Cooking
Chapter 7: Corporate Pedagogies and Curricula in Family Kitchens
Chapter 8: The Rise of Counter-Hegemonic Pedagogies and Curricula of Food in the Global South
This book breaks new ground by using an innovative and useful approach to examine pedagogies and curricula of everyday food practices as well as new ways of looking at the lived experiences and practices related to food knowledge, consumerism, preparation, and consumption of food. Sebastian contributes to the literature in the field by bringing understanding to the hegemonic forces of everyday food practices and by centering key questions tied to teaching and learning within the consumption and production of food.
This rich, engaging ethnographic study of everyday life, analyzed through a critical educational lens, reveals the complex inter-relationships between modern food technologies, contemporary food preparation, marketization, gender, and class. While documenting the power of major supermarket chains, television personalities, cookbooks, the Internet, and restaurants that shape our food habits, Everyday Food Practices: Commercialisation and Consumption in the Periphery of the Global North cogently advocates resistance to these all too powerful forces.
Learning about food and consuming it is one of the most important things we have to do, both for our own well-being and for the community in which we live. But, how does this occur when we live in such diverse societies, with changing products, with pervasive advertising and with doubts about what is beneficial? There is a curriculum of food—buying, preparing, cooking and eating—passed on from our families and friends, but increasingly dominated by major commercial entities whose interests may not coincide with our own.
Everyday Food Practices opens up an important area of inquiry. It explores food practices in the context of everyday city living. Who seeks to influence us, what forces impinge on us, and how do we deal with them? An important theme is the need to be aware of and challenge the insidious messages promulgated by the processors and major retailers of food through the hidden curriculum of convenience. The book emphasizes the importance of intergenerational teaching and learning about food as a counter to the loud messages of big food. It confronts us with the question: who really influences what we eat and is that influence a desirable one?
We seem to live in a time of paradox—a person can simultaneously be morbidly obese and chronically malnourished, supermarkets boast a plethora of fresh foods while shoppers struggle with food insecurity and food related skills and knowledge, and food couriers risk their lives delivering takeout food to people watching television chefs preparing epicurean meals. This book makes clear the systematic, complex, and enduring influences that link these paradoxical food practices from the global and corporate to the familial and interpersonal. Reversing 250 years of ethnographic research among Aboriginal people, this remarkable Pitjantjatjara/Anmatyerre researcher’s ground-breaking critical ethnography explains the food practices that are shaping our lives. This book is essential reading for the numerous professional disciplines and programs seeking to influence the patterns of shopping, food preparation, eating, and drinking that impact our well-being and the sustainability of our planet.