Framing taste: good food in food waste initiatives

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationOther


In contemporary society, framing of “good” food is closely intertwined with taste, and hence serve as markers of social distinction. Indeed, food and eating is inherently social, with food serving as a marker for, and in, social relations, and with particular tastes associated to particular social groups. Much of the literature on food and taste suggests that classifications of “good” food emerge from, and are defended by, elite actors seeking to maintain levels of distinction. In this paper, we interrogate this assumption by exploring how taste and food are also constructed and contested through the discourses of specific cultural players. We are especially interested in players in the context of food waste initiatives. In approaching this research, we do not seek to understand taste as a product of culture, but are interested in the extent to which specific cultural players contribute to ever changing framing of “good” food, thus how actors understand taste with regard to food. Within the context of food waste initiatives, we are interested the framing of good food that is considered as waste. Food waste initiatives contribute to farming taste of food and eating at the levels of the self (e.g. consumers), of production (e.g. farmers), as well as the level of food policy (e.g. certification). As such, we argue that these players are active in the creation of frames pertaining to “good”. The resulting frames serve as empirical examples for moralities and processes of politicization. Applying a frame analysis, we deconstruct how different discourses emerging from food waste initiatives contribute to understandings of taste. We analyze empirical examples from Germany and the UK which serve to highlight how the framing of “good” food serve to influence societal classifications of what makes good food. In doing so we contribute to contemporary discussions on food and distinction propelling taste as central concept.
Period18 Nov 2017
Event titleAmsterdam Symposium on the History of Food: Making Sense of Taste
Event typeConference
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • food waste
  • distinction
  • good eater
  • practices