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Food and the Internet

Proceedings of the 20 th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Department of Folklore and Ethnology, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Łodź, Poland, 3–6 September 2014

Edited By Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska and Patricia Lysaght

Discourses about food, especially on social media, affect the dietary choices of many people on a daily basis all over the world. In recognition of this phenomenon, the selection of 25 ethnological essays in this volume explores the effects of the digital age on post-modern food culture. It examines the influence of the Internet as a provider of a seemingly limitless flow of information and discourse about food sources, production, distribution and consumption. It also analyses the attitudes towards food in the context of ecological, environmental, ethical, health, and everyday lifestyle issues – at local, regional and global levels.
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Novelty with a Traditional Twist: Food Co-Operatives as Short Food Chains in the Global Network: Ewa Kopczyńska

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Ewa Kopczyńska

Novelty with a Traditional Twist: Food Co-Operatives as Short Food Chains in the Global Network

For several decades, Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) have been the subject of research and analysis by scholars of various disciplines, and they have also become an important aspect of development policies during the past twenty years (Goodman / DuPuis / Goodman 2014; Maye 2010). Today, as a response to the threats against, and the weaknesses of, industrial food production, a variety of organisations, associations, social movements, market entities, and individual enterprises, have sprung up en masse, with the objective of forming new, alternative food patterns. The two forms I have researched – farmers’ markets and food co-operatives – are examples of alternative food networks.

The consumers’ food co-operatives represent a new kind of a food supply chain, something which has existed in certain countries of Western Europe and the USA since the 1970s (Katchova / Woods 2011). It is only in the last few years that these food co-operatives also came to be set up in Poland. In this article, I aim to focus on the values and social networks of food co-operatives, as well as on the channels and types of communication which they employ. Since co-operatives refer to tradition, direct exchange and locality, I compare them to old and traditional forms of farmers’ markets in order to reveal and to clarify co-operative ideas.

The theoretical framework of AFNs is linked in particular to the...

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