The Normalization of Convenience Food
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This chapter demonstrates how convenience foods have become incorporated within people’s everyday routines and dietary practices including the way shopping and cooking convenience foods have been normalized. Examining historical and contemporary sources, the chapter shows how commercial baby food in Sweden has needed continuous work to reconcile its use with notions of being a ‘good mother’. The chapter shows how certain practices associated with processed baby food are scripted (involving notions of prescription, de-inscription and re-inscription) in relation to advice from health authorities and other official bodies or in response to marketing campaigns. Commercially produced baby food is considered convenient in enabling parents (usually mothers) to feed their children in a variety of locations, at home and ‘on the move’. While it is often regarded as an acceptable and modern way of infant feeding, based on ideologies of ‘scientific motherhood’, it can pose significant problems in terms of cultural appropriateness, given competing (idealized and highly gendered) ideologies about ‘feeding the family’.
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