Capturing the sustainability agenda: organic foods and media discourses on food scares, environment, genetic engineering, and health

Lockie, Stewart (2006) Capturing the sustainability agenda: organic foods and media discourses on food scares, environment, genetic engineering, and health. Agriculture and Human Values, 23. pp. 313-323.

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Abstract

This paper undertakes a content analysis of newspaper articles from Australia, the UK, and the US concerned with a variety of issues relevant to sustainable food and agriculture from 1996 to 2002. It then goes on to identify the various ways in which sustainability, organic food and agriculture, genetic engineering, genetically modified foods, and food safety are framed both in their own terms and in relation to each other. It finds that despite the many competing approaches to sustainability found in scientific and agricultural production discourses, media discourses tend to reduce this complexity to a straightforward conflict between organic and conventional foods. Despite regular reporting of viewpoints highly critical of organic food and agriculture, this binary opposition produces discourses in which organic foods are seen as more-or-less synonymous with safety, naturalness and nutrition, and their alternatives as artificial, threatening, and untrustworthy. Particularly controversial food-related issues such as genetic engineering, food scares, chemical residues, and regulatory failure are treated as part of the same problem to which organic food offers a trustworthy and easily understood solution.

Item ID: 30805
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-8366
Keywords: content analysis, discourse, genetic engineering, organic food
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 00:17
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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