Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 141–152 | Cite as

Adventurous food futures: knowing about alternatives is not enough, we need to feel them

  • Michael CarolanEmail author


This paper investigates how we can enact, collectively, affording food systems. Yet rather than asking simply what those assemblages might look like the author enquires as to how they might also feel. Building on existing literature that speaks to the radically relational, and deeply affective, nature of food the aims of this paper are multiple: to learn more about how moments of difference come about in otherwise seemingly banal encounters; to understand some of the processes by which novelty ripples out, up, and through social bodies; to speak to, and suggest ways to resolve, ontological asymmetries within the agrifood literature pertaining to Cartesian dualisms; and to offer ways forward that allow agrifood scholars to talk about phenomena such as feelings and structures/barriers in the same sentence. The empirical flesh of the paper comes from an admittedly unconventional case study. On December 10, 2012, Amendment 64 was added to Colorado’s constitution making it legal for adults to consume marijuana for recreational purposes. The case examined is not about pot, however. The paper, rather, is about hopeful, hydroponic-inspired, agrifood futures; novel doings, feelings, and thinkings sparked by, among other things, food grown in basements and spare bedrooms.


Affect Power Performativity Political economy Relationality Care 



Home owners associations


Actor network theory



Some of the time used to write this article was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A3A2055243). The author would like to thank all those associated with the New Zealand-based Biological Economies project for their support and inspiration, especially Richard Le Heron, Hugh Campbell, and Nick Lewis. Thanks also to the Australasian-based community of researchers that are part of the Agri-Food Research Network. An earlier version of this article was presented in Melbourne, Australia, at the Agrifood XX meetings in 2013. Finally, a word of thanks to Cinzia Piatti and Angga Dwiartama for their perseverance in organizing the symposium this article contributes to.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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