They are colourful and tasty. They are discarded by agri-business and free to swap and share. For these and many other reasons, the idea of ‘heritage’ vegetables has been mobilised by diverse groups in the UK in recent years, from lifestyle journalists to anti-poverty campaign groups, to critique and re-imagine contemporary food production systems. This article explores how various interest groups structure the story of ‘heritage in danger’ in two radically different ways with regards to the passage of time. Using a discourse theoretical approach, I explore how a range of institutions and campaign groups use a linear model of time to paint a picture of catastrophic loss of diversity, which threatens the future of humankind. Meanwhile a narrative model commonly employed by writers of lifestyle media texts suggests the time of loss has been superseded by a new golden age of consumer-driven abundance and taste. These different articulations are afforded by a distinct set of discursive resources and in turn produce and sustain certain relationships at the expense of others.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Food, Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research on 01/02/2016, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15528014.2015.1088190
- alternative food
- seed saving