Natural Food and the Pastoral: A Sentimental Notion? [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (2):165-194 (2011)
The term natural is effective in the marketing of a wide variety of foods. This ambiguous term carries important meaning in Western culture. To challenge an uncritical understanding of natural with respect to food and to explore the ambiguity of the term, the development of Western ideas of nature is first discussed. Personification and hypostasization of nature are given special emphasis. Leo Marx’s idea of the pastoral design in literature is then used to explore the meaning of natural as applied to food, emphasizing Marx’s distinction between a sentimental and a complex pastoral. The latter is applied to natural as a means of collapsing a dichotomy of man and nature to the idea of second nature. From this perspective an understanding of the industrialization of the food system and the importance of local and organic food are considered. The extent to which processed foods might properly be considered natural is raised and discussed for several common foods. Although marketing of natural foods might make us think that we consume nature, I suggest that what is consumed is more appropriately second nature. I suggest that in order to maintain a critical perspective about one’s relationship to the natural world, everyone should make an attempt to experience the complex pastoral with respect to at least something that is consumed as food. When nature is understood as second nature in the context of a complex pastoral, the question of whether a food or ingredient is to be considered natural is replaced by deliberative thought based on our best knowledge and judgment, and the result will be less constrained by ideology
|Keywords||Natural food Ideas of nature Hypostasized nature Leo Marx Complex pastoral High-fructose corn syrup|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Julia Annas (1993). The Morality of Happiness. Oxford University Press.
Aristotle (2007/1973). The Politics of Aristotle. BiblioBazaar, LLC.
Aristotle (1960). Metaphysics. Univ of Michigan Pr.
R. G. Collingwood (1945/1986). The Idea of Nature. Greenwood Press.
Deane W. Curtin & Lisa M. Heldke (eds.) (1992). Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food. Indiana University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Donald B. Thompson & Bryan McDonald (2013). What Food is “Good” for You? Toward a Pragmatic Consideration of Multiple Values Domains. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (1):137-163.
Similar books and articles
Celina Ramjoué (2007). The Transatlantic Rift in Genetically Modified Food Policy. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (5):419-436.
Henk Verhoog, Mirjam Matze, Edith Lammerts van Bueren & Ton Baars (2003). The Role of the Concept of the Natural (Naturalness) in Organic Farming. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16 (1):29-49.
Vandana Shiva (2009). Women and the Gendered Politics of Food. Philosophical Topics 37 (2):17-32.
Glenn Parsons (2004). Natural Functions and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Inorganic Nature. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (1):44-56.
Lotte Holm (2003). Food Health Policies and Ethics: Lay Perspectives on Functional Foods. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16 (6):531-544.
David Waltner-Toews (1991). One Ecosystem, One Food System: The Social and Ecological Context of Food Safety Strategies. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 4 (1):49-59.
Ruth Chadwick (2000). Novel, Natural, Nutritious: Towards a Philosophy of Food. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2):193–208.
Paul Weirich (ed.) (2008). Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate. OUP USA.
Hanna Schösler, Joop de Boer & Jan J. Boersema (2013). The Organic Food Philosophy: A Qualitative Exploration of the Practices, Values, and Beliefs of Dutch Organic Consumers Within a Cultural–Historical Frame. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2):439-460.
Added to index2010-03-13
Total downloads10 ( #154,296 of 1,102,136 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #192,056 of 1,102,136 )
How can I increase my downloads?