Geografie 2023, 128, 325-350

In the garden with Lefebvre and Foucault: The cultivation of taste in spaces of food

Petr DaněkID

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography, Brno, Czechia

Received September 2022
Accepted March 2023

Research on the conventional food system and alternative food networks has evolved largely in isolation from each other. This paper aims to narrow this gap by using a common theoretical framework to disclose the properties of spaces produced by both types of food systems. The theoretical tools used are Lefebvre’s spatial dialectic and Foucauldian analysis of discipline and governmentality. The results indicate constitutive differences in the nature of both types of spaces: while the conventional food system produces standardized relations and spaces, taking away attention from the food itself to other aspects of its sale and supressing knowledge about food provenance and ways of preparation, the diverse spaces of non-market production are shaped around the quality and “taste” of food. This means that the way out of the crisis-laden conventional food system may lead not only through frugality but also through the cultivation of “taste”, that is, the human interest to eat good food, whose taste includes the knowledge of ecological and social relations and cultures producing the spaces of food.


This work was supported by GA ČR, project No. 19-10694S (Spaces of quiet sustainability: selfprovisioning and sharing).


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