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Consumer culture in an age of anxiety: political and moral economies of food (CONANX)
Start date: 01 Jan 2009, End date: 31 Dec 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Food safety and security are high priority issues throughout Europe at present, the subject of intense government concern, public interest, media speculation and academic scrutiny. With few exceptions, academic research on food has been fragmented with too little interaction between food scientists, health researchers and social scientists. This application builds on the success of a recently completed research programme (Changing Families, Changing Food, 2005-8) which brought together an inter-disciplinary team of over 40 researchers from the food, health and social sciences to address the complex relationships between families and food which lie at the heart of current concerns about food safety and public health. The current proposal aims to take forward the findings of that programme regarding the socially embedded nature of contemporary food choice and to make a step change in our understanding of contemporary consumer anxiety through a focused and concerted programme of research on the political and moral economies of food. The project focuses on consumer anxieties about food at a range of geographic scales, from the global scale of international food markets to the domestic scale of individual households. By taking a whole chain approach -- examining food production and consumption at all points along the chain from farm to fork -- the findings of our research will enable a major advance in our understanding of contemporary anxieties around food, with tangible effects on public health (including the reduction of obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease)."
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