WG6. Bodies and food: Models of beauty, health, environment

Bodies, the first victims of diseases with varying levels of irreversibility linked to the processes of production, transformation, and consumption of food, reveal the dysfunctions of food systems. Dominant aesthetic patterns form part of the logics of social exclusion, highlight the unequal relations between social categories, classes, genders, ethnic groups, ages, and their main historical evolutions. At the same time the land, cultures, and food have become resources used to seek repair of bodies and spirits, to rebuild the social and intergenerational link, from the perspective of "care." In this working group, the following questions will be discussed: What role do bodies play in situations of increased or reduced food injustices? What relations of power are outlined when we observe at the same time sovereignty of intimate bodies and that of political bodies?

The first objective of this working group is to reflect on the relationships between food, bodies, and corporalities. Beyond the nutritional act indispensable for the survival of individuals, bodies are products of a food, family, school, social, political, material and immaterial environment: what do they tell us about the unequal relations between states, social groups, and individuals? How do they speak of the diversity of influences that define "good" or "bad" food in a normative and often contradictory way? What do they teach us about resistances and demands, the rational of self-definition of individuals and societies? "Junk" food, fast food, traditional street food, organic foods, prepared, processed, or transgenic: these food consumption practices are nutritional experiences which also generate representations and corporal staging of the individual and of the social groups that need to be analyzed.

The second objective is to reflect on the relationship between the health of individual and social bodies and the health of the planet, the care of the body and territories. In what ways are bodily diseases, morbidity and mortality rates indicating threats to land and water? To what extent does the representation of bodies in good or bad health reveal the unequal exposure of individuals to risks and environmental injustices? Can the psychological suffering that leads to a high suicide rate among farmers be considered as a product of food injustice? These questions will open an area of debate that includes everything from nutritional and nutritional aspects to more recent notions of environmental empathy, global responsibility, and its consequences on the apprehension of food systems.

In this working group, we seek to create a dialogue about nutrition, medicine, social and environmental sciences to discuss the multi-causality of physical and bodily problems. Artistic proposals will also be included to sublimate these problems and propose other responses to situations of food insecurity.


· Nutrition, injustice, socioeconomic inequalities, power relationships

· Food environment, eating behaviors, and bodies

· Models, norms and alimentary influences

· Diseases, health of individuals, public health and the environment

· Care, agriculture, and food