Mobility, embodiment, and scales: Filipino immigrant perspectives on local food
Local foodshed proponents in the United States seek to change the food system through campaigns to “buy local” and to rediscover “good food” in the local foodshed. Presumably, common sense dictates that the word “local” signifies spatial proximity to the consumer. For some populations, however, both the terms “local” and “local food” signify various different meanings. The local food definition generally used by scholars and activists alike as “geographically proximate food” is unhelpfully narrow. Localist rhetoric often does not incorporate the food choices and practices of immigrants, migrants, and refugees. In this paper, I report the various characterizations of local food among Filipino immigrants in San Diego, California: (1) geography-based local food; (2) (US) America-based local food; (3) community-based local food; and (4) immigrant identity-based local food. Local foodshed proponents should acknowledge those who have a starkly different definition of “local”—those who possess translocal subjectivities, for whom “local-ness” is both mobile and embodied. My study underscores how the movement of food—or its containment within a geographic space—cannot be viewed in isolation from the movement of people.
KeywordsLocal food Foodshed Immigration Mobility Scale Translocal subjectivity Embodiment Filipino
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