Imagined foodways and rejected biopedagogies: Rural children's perspectives of rural foodways
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionErsfjord, E. M. I., Plasil, T. & Heggem, R. (2023). Imagined foodways and rejected biopedagogies: Rural children's perspectives of rural foodways. Children & society, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12765
Rural residency is an independent risk factor for being overweight, but little is known about why this is so. The purpose of our study was to gain insight into what Norwegian rural children say about a rural diet in comparison to an urban one. Child-friendly methods were used. We found a discrepancy between what the children said they eat – traditional, ‘healthy’ foods, and what they ate – largely ultra-processed foods. We explored this by using the frameworks of imagined foodways and biopedagogies. Their imagined foodways were rooted in notions of ‘traditional food’, connected to surrounding nature and a history of farming and hunting. Urban people were perceived as eating an inferior diet of very unhealthy and ultra-processed foods of which they do not know the origin of. As a result, the children rejected specific health- and nutrition recommendations that were incompatible with their notions of traditional foods, leading to a more calorie dense diet than their urban counterparts. Our research adds to knowledge on what role a rural diet can play on the prevalence of overweight in rural areas, and how biopedagogies can be recontextualized within different cultural fields.