The consumer culture war
DOI link for The consumer culture war
The consumer culture war book
We are not consumers. For most of humanity’s existence, we were makers, not consumers: we made our clothes, shelter, and education, we hunted and gathered our food.
Core arguments In an ideological world where the consumer is ostensibly sovereign, the notion of a ‘food culture’ is a robust way of understanding people’s food beliefs and behaviour. The concept of food culture is central to the food wars. Business spends huge sums of money trying to mould and respond to consumer aspirations in a highly competitive way. At the same, food culture is inherited from the past; it is not solely dictated by present commerce. There are also counter-trends and contradictory meanings, behaviours and beliefs. Governments are also involved in shaping food cultures, particularly around health or what they allow supply chains to do. They might appeal to consumers to behave sensibly while actually spending little money on helping them to do so. The ‘consciousness’ industries compete with public health education over the shape of food culture and food policies. Food culture is not homogeneous, despite globalisation. Part of the battle for minds is about who and what shapes choice.