Beyond the recipe

Featured in

  • Published 20100201
  • ISBN: 9781921520860
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

‘EATING IS NOT merely a biological activity, but a vibrantly cultural activity,’ the food anthropologist Sidney Mintz reminds us. Our eating and shopping choices are now frequently imbued with complex moral choices. Should we, for example, be buying locally produced foods, with all the benefits for our own region and our health that this may provide? Or should we be choosing Fairtrade goods, with all the benefits for producers in the developing world, but with a much larger carbon footprint from transportation?

The associated questions – of whether Fairtrade is actually fair, and what exactly ‘local’ means – can lead to similar impasses. The idea of local can vary from twenty to two hundred kilometres, and some people define it as a region or even a country. Such discussions slide into food politics: the ethics of food production and consumption and, in particular, the sustainability and viability of food systems. This politics is being shaped by figures outside government: chefs and farmers, environmental activists and concerned consumers, as well as all kinds of media producers, publishers and writers – especially food writers.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Donna Lee Brien

Donna Lee Brien is Associate Professor of Creative Industries and Head of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Central Queensland University.Immediate Past...

More from this edition


MemoirI WAS FIFTEEN when I stood inside my first restaurant kitchen. My mother, who had replaced the red dirt of Mount Isa for the...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.