This book focuses on the rhetoric of food and the power dimensions that intersect this most fundamental but increasingly popular area of ideology and practice, including politics, culture, lifestyle, identity, advertising, environment, and economy. The essays visit a rich variety of dominant discourses and material practices through a range of media, channels, and settings including the White House, social movement rhetoric, televisual programming, urban gardens, farmers markets, domestic and international agriculture institutions, and popular culture. Rhetoricians address the cultural, political, and ecological motives and consequences of humans’ strategic symbolizing and attendant choice-making, visiting discourses and practices that have impact on our species in their producing, distributing, regulating, marketing, packaging, consuming, and talking about food. The essays in this book are representative of dominant and marginal discourses as well as perennial issues surrounding the rhetoric of food and include macro-, meso-, and micro-level analyses and case studies, from international neoliberal trade policies to media and social movement discourse to small group and interactional dynamics. This volume provides an excellent range and critical illumination of rhetoric’s role as both instrumental and constitutive force in food representations, and its symbolic and material effects.

chapter |6 pages


ByJoshua J. Frye, Michael S. Bruner

chapter |15 pages

1 The Operations of Nature

ByAlbert Howard

chapter |20 pages

2 Empty Bellies/Empty Calories

Representing Hunger and Obesity
ByRetzinger Jean

chapter |16 pages

3 Politics on Your Plate

Building and Burning Bridges across Organic, Vegetarian, and Vegan Discourse
ByLaura K. Hahn, Michael S. Bruner

chapter |13 pages

4 “Food Talk”

Bridging Power in a Globalizing World
ByJohn R. Thompson

chapter |18 pages

5 Food, Health, and Well-Being

Positioning Functional Foods
ByAlison Henderson, Vanessa Johnson

chapter |14 pages

6 Parsing Poverty

Farm Subsidies and American Farmland Trust
ByMaxwell Schnurer

chapter |18 pages

7 Pardon Your Turkey and Eat Him Too

Antagonism over Meat Eating in the Discourse of the Presidential Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey
ByCarrie Packwood Freeman, Oana Leventi-Perez

chapter |18 pages

8 Resignified Urban Landscapes

From Abject to Agricultural
BySeegert Natasha

chapter |16 pages

10 Let's Move

The Ideological Constraints of Liberalism on Michelle Obama's Obesity Rhetoric
ByAbigail Seiler

chapter |19 pages

11 Spatial Affects and Rhetorical Relations

At the Cherry Creek Farmers' Market
ByJustin Eckstein, Donovan Conley

chapter |16 pages

12 Revolution on Primetime TV

Jamie Oliver Takes On the US School Food System
ByGarrett M. Broad

chapter |16 pages

13 The Man and the Cannibal

A Moral Perspective on Eating the Other
ByAlexander V. Kozin

chapter |16 pages

14 On Establishing a More Authentic Relationship with Food

From Heidegger to Oprah on Slowing Down Fast Food
ByKara Shultz

chapter |16 pages

15 Narratives of Hunger

Voices at the Margins of Neoliberal Development
ByMohan J. Dutta