Ball jars, bacteria, and labor: CO-producing nature through cooperative enterprise

Oona Morrow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The production of nature has been employed to theorize shifts in nature-society relations that have accompanied historical transformations in production and social reproduction. While Marxist scholars have employed this framework to theorize the nature-society relations that accompany capitalist production, they have paid less attention to those that accompany non-capitalist production. In the meantime critical food studies has grown abundant with more-than-human and more-than-capitalist encounters with nature. This paper attempts to bring these two streams of thought together, in order to explore what they reveal about encounters and entanglements with microbes and non-human labor in the non-capitalist production of yogurt. Drawing on ethnographic research with a yogurt making cooperative in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA, I explore the contribution of microbial labor to the co-production of nature and post-human ethics in a cooperative food enterprise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-280
JournalFood and Foodways
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Boston
  • cooperatives
  • ethnography
  • food provisioning
  • production of nature


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