Finding the beginning or where does our food come from?

03 19 08 Bradford wholesale market 012

I once conducted a research project that examined the consumption practices of middle-class households in the UK.  I was interested in the knowledges they had about what foods to buy and how their own understandings of local fit into this.  As part of that project I went to visit the wholesale market in Bradford, which is where most of the fruit and vegetables one finds in the various corner shops within the region are sourced.  It was both an interesting and illuminating trip at the time, and has informed my reflections on where our food begins its life as food any number of times since then.  What, in particular, it has caused me to consider is not only the socio-cultural relations that inform the origins of our food, but also the contexual usefulness (or uselessness) of the idea of local when we think about whether or not our food is local.  Continue reading

Everything on 4 legs, except the table

There is a saying about the food culture in China that what is edible includes everything on four legs, except the table. Of course, the food culture includes a whole host of things with fewer legs as well. As a result I was not surprised that the recent European Horse Meat scandal has not had much of a ripple here in Hong Kong, with the exception of the local Ikea stores supposedly withdrawing their meatballs (as reported in the Huffington Post).  Continue reading