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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

How Canadians Communicate VI

Food Promotion, Consumption, and Controversy

Food nourishes the body, but our relationship with food extends far beyond our need for survival. Food choices not only express our personal tastes but also communicate a range of beliefs, values, affiliations and aspirations—sometimes to the exclusion of others. In the media sphere, the enormous amount of food-related advice provided by government agencies, advocacy groups, diet books, and so on compete with efforts on the part of the food industry to sell their product and to respond to a consumer-driven desire for convenience. As a result, the topic of food has grown fraught, engendering sometimes acrimonious debates about what we should eat, and why.

By examining topics such as the values embedded in food marketing, the locavore movement, food tourism, dinner parties, food bank donations, the moral panic surrounding obesity, food crises, and fears about food safety, the contributors to this volume paint a rich, and sometimes unsettling portrait of how food is represented, regulated, and consumed in Canada. With chapters from leading scholars such as Ken Albala, Harvey Levenstein, Stephen Kline and Valerie Tarasuk, the volume also includes contributions from "food insiders"—bestselling cookbook author and food editor Elizabeth Baird and veteran restaurant reviewer John Gilchrist. The result is a timely and thought-provoking look at food as a system of communication through which Canadians articulate cultural identity, personal values, and social distinction.

Table of Contents



Introduction / Charlene Elliott

Part I: Food Promotion

1 Communicating Food Quality: Food, Packaging, and Place / Charlene Elliott and Wayne McCready

2 The Food Retail Environment in Canada: Shaping What Canadians Eat and How They Communicate About Food / Jordan LeBel

3 Selling Nutrition: Current Directions in Food Fortification and Nutrition-Related Marketing / Valerie Tarasuk

4 Insider Voice Edible Canada: The Growth of Culinary Tourism / Eric Pateman and Shannon King

Part II: Food and Communication

5 La cuisinière canadienne: The Cookbook as Communication / Ken Albala

6 The Dinner Party: Reworking Tradition Through Contemporary Performance / Jacqueline Botterill

7 Canadian Food Radio: Conjuring Nourishment for Canadians Out of Thin Air / Nathalie Cooke

8 Of Men and Cupcakes: Baking Identities on Food Network / Irina D. Mihalache

9 Insider Voice Snapshots of a Canadian Cuisine / Elizabeth Baird

10 Insider Voice Everybody’s a Critic: A Memoir / John Gilchrist

Part III: Food Controversy

11 Making the "Perfect Food" Safe: The Milk Pasteurization Debate / Catherine Carstairs, Paige Schell, and Sheilagh Quaile

12 Kraft Dinner® Unboxed: Rethinking Food Insecurity and Food / Melanie Rock

13 Hipster Hunters and the Discursive Politics of Food Hunting in Canada / Rebecca Carruthers Den Hoed

14 Lies, Damned Lies, and Lo

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