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Title: A taste of food insecurity : towards a capacity for eating well
Author: Colebrooke, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 5723
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis considers food insecurity in Bristol through an analysis of taste. Using a bricolage of ethnographic methods designed to bring the sensory elements of food practices to the fore, I worked with three projects in the city to examine the socio-materialities of food insecurity as they are felt within people’s daily lives. Working with an Emergency Food Aid (EFA) charity, a community bus scheme and a cookery course for socially isolated people, I contribute to geographical understandings of food insecurity by looking in places and attuning to senses, feelings and affects that are otherwise invisible. Inspired by material-semiotics – where nonhumans matter – and including ideas of affect, I move away from a static definition of food insecurity as ‘access to a good diet’ and instead develop ideas of taste, which I define as capacity for eating well. I use capacity to ground a critical analysis of inequality within the social and material relations of embodied life. I use eating well to bring the more-than-human collectivities into the frame, accounting for the care-full socio-materialities at play in food encounters. Importantly, I move beyond an ontology of individual rational agents and a focus on empowered choice as a solution to insecurity. The empirical material shows that practices of good taste are contingent and fragile, shaped by the material-affective conditions of food encounters; that interdependencies rather than individual empowerment enable us to eat well; and that precarious living conditions produce affects that can be decisive factors in whether we eat well or go hungry. Ultimately, this taste-full approach places a critical analysis of food insecurity within the messy entanglements of food practices and opens up new spaces for understanding and tackling the issue.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G Geography (General)