Comment on DeSoucey: Gastronationalism or Gastroregionalism?
12 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017
Date Written: February 15, 2017
This comment re-examines a core element of DeSoucey’s gastronationalism thesis: the claim that the European Union’s product-quality scheme for foods should be interpreted as an attempt to rescue national food traditions from the homogenizing tendencies of a globalizing economy. Through a legal analysis and an analysis of all territorial denominations I show that the scheme in fact does the opposite: it deliberately emphasizes regional and local territorial origins of foods and downplays the significance of national identities. Secondly, while DeSoucey presents the scheme as a policy that seeks to ‘rescue’ threatened national food identities from the homogenizing forces of the single market, I show that its main rationale is a purely economic one. This corrigendum to DeSoucey’s analysis is vital to understand the differentiated levels of territorial identification to which food is connected and to better appreciate the ways in which different social and political actors use food as identity politics at different scalar levels.
Keywords: food politics, EU, nationalism, markets, territory, identity
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