Natural Food and the Pastoral: A Sentimental Notion? [Book Review]

Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,101
External links
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
Aristotle (1960). Metaphysics. Univ of Michigan Pr.

View all 14 references

Citations of this work BETA
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.
Lotte Holm (2003). Food Health Policies and Ethics: Lay Perspectives on Functional Foods. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16 (6):531-544.
Ruth Chadwick (2000). Novel, Natural, Nutritious: Towards a Philosophy of Food. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2):193–208.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-03-13

Total downloads

10 ( #154,296 of 1,102,136 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #192,056 of 1,102,136 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.