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[book cover] How Canadians Communicate VI

Edited by Charlene Elliott

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March 2016

9781771990257 (Paperback)
9781771990264 (PDF)
9781771990271 (ePub)


Canadian Studies / Communication & Cultural Studies / Communication & Cultural Studies: Media Studies / Sociology



About the Book

Food nourishes the body, but our relationship with food extends far beyond our need for survival. Food choices not only express our personal tastes but also communicate a range of beliefs, values, affiliations and aspirations—sometimes to the exclusion of others. In the media sphere, the enormous amount of food-related advice provided by government agencies, advocacy groups, diet books, and so on compete with efforts on the part of the food industry to sell their product and to respond to a consumer-driven desire for convenience. As a result, the topic of food has grown fraught, engendering sometimes acrimonious debates about what we should eat, and why.

By examining topics such as the values embedded in food marketing, the locavore movement, food tourism, dinner parties, food bank donations, the moral panic surrounding obesity, food crises, and fears about food safety, the contributors to this volume paint a rich, and sometimes unsettling portrait of how food is represented, regulated, and consumed in Canada. With chapters from leading scholars such as Ken Albala, Harvey Levenstein, Stephen Kline and Valerie Tarasuk, the volume also includes contributions from “food insiders”—bestselling cookbook author and food editor Elizabeth Baird and veteran restaurant reviewer John Gilchrist. The result is a timely and thought-provoking look at food as a system of communication through which Canadians articulate cultural identity, personal values, and social distinction.


About the Editor

Charlene Elliott is professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary and Canada Research Chair in Food Marketing, Policy and Children’s Health.



Ken Albala, Elizabeth Baird, Jacqueline Botterill, Rebecca Carruthers Den Hoed, Catherine Carstairs, Nathalie Cooke, Pierre Desrochers, John Gilchrist, Josh Greenberg, Shannon King, Stephen Kline, Jordan Lebel, Harvey Levenstein, Wayne McCready, Irina Mihalache, Eric Pateman, Sheilagh Quaile, Melanie Rock, Paige Schell, and Valerie Tarasuk.



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Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.


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Charlene Elliott

PART I. Food Promotion

Download1. Communicating Food Quality: Food, Packaging, and Place
Charlene Elliott and Wayne McCready

Download2. The Food Retail Environment in Canada: Shaping What Canadians Eat and How They Communicate About Food
Jordan LeBel

Download3. Selling Nutrition: Current Directions in Food Fortification and Nutrition-Related Marketing
Valerie Tarasuk

Download4.  insider voice   Edible Canada: The Growth of Culinary Tourism
Eric Pateman and Shannon King

PART II. Food and Communication

Download5. La cuisinière canadienne: The Cookbook as Communication
Ken Albala

Download6. The Dinner Party: Reworking Tradition Through Contemporary Performance
Jacqueline Botterill

Download7. Canadian Food Radio: Conjuring Nourishment for Canadians Out of Thin Air
Nathalie Cooke

Download8. Of Men and Cupcakes: Baking Identities on Food Network
Irina D. Mihalache

Download9.  insider voice   Snapshots of a Canadian Cuisine
Elizabeth Baird

Download10.  insider voice   Everybody’s a Critic: A Memoir
John Gilchrist

PART III. Food Controversy

Download11. Making the “Perfect Food” Safe: The Milk Pasteurization Debate
Catherine Carstairs, Paige Schell, and Sheilagh Quaile

Download12. Kraft Dinner® Unboxed: Rethinking Food Insecurity and Food
Melanie Rock

Download13. Hipster Hunters and the Discursive Politics of Food Hunting in Canada
Rebecca Carruthers Den Hoed

Download14. Lies, Damned Lies, and Locavorism: Bringing Some Truth in Advertising to the Canadian Local Food Debate
Pierre Desrochers

Download15. Communication, Crisis, and Contaminated Meat: A Tale of Two Food Scares
Charlene Elliott and Josh Greenberg

Download16. Canaries in the Supermarket: Moral Panic, Food Marketing and Children’s Eating
Stephen Kline

Download17. “Death on a Plate”: Communicating Food Fears in Modern North America
Harvey Levenstein

DownloadList of Contributors



“... a strong volume that gives readers a broad tour through some of the most relevant issues at the intersection of communication and food.”

—Canadian Food Studies/La revue canadienne des études sur l'alimentation


“[This volume] does what so few communication texts seem willing to dodiscuss the mediating and communicative aspects of something other than the mas media. [...] Most essays in this volume could be characterized as taking a criticalc ultural studies approach, which, next to political economy, is a dominant arena of communications theory and research.”