I question the notion of food choice and consider how much food choice someone living on low income actually has. In my fieldwork, it became clear that food choices, and hence one’s nutritional and health state, cannot be viewed in separation from the participants’ individual stories and the complexities of their lives. Daily routines, financial situation, and food accessibility have an impact on people’s food choices. In realising this, I found Amartya Sen’s (1979, 1985) capabilities approach useful, which moves beyond food entitlements. More specifically, a health capabilities approach as introduced by Venkatapuram (2007, 2011) and the association made between health and capabilities by others (e.g. Ruger Yale Joural Law Humanities 18 (2): 3, 2003) views health as the combination of the influence of socio-economic structures, as well as personal agency resulting in choices. I present the main learnings from viewing Foodways and Futures through the ‘capabilities lens’ and thus view food choices as the combination of the complex interrelations between socio-economic structures and agency.
Food Ethics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 16, 2017
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