Presentation by Myriam Durocher, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Journalism and Communication
What is “healthy” food? What does it mean? Does it refer to particular food matters? Nutrients? Practices? Certifications?
Critical food studies have highlighted the problems and challenges raised by “healthy” food while it is conveyed or produced as a given, as something fixed and stable. Likewise, my PhD research thesis explored critically and from a cultural studies perspective the power relationships negotiated in the ways by which we currently define and practice “healthy” food, and which contribute to produce uneven relationships in between food and bodies, human and more-than-human ones.
In this presentation, I will expose how I used “healthy” food both as a means to explore Quebec’s contemporary food culture and the power relationships negotiated therein, as well as an object of inquiry in itself. Inspired by feminist approaches that advocate for the production of knowledge from a situated perspective (Haraway, 1988), I explored and analyzed Quebec’s food culture through the use of the dialogic and embodied ethnographic methods mobilized by Probyn (2016).
Drawing on some of the definitions (or configurations) of “healthy” food that emerged from the analysis, I argue that, in focusing on one of the most important pivot points of the current food culture, which is the ways by which we produce and convey “healthy” food, we can better grasp the heterogeneous range of power relationships that create complex and unequal relationships in between food and bodies, and eventually health and environment.