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HARC Dialogues: The Value of Eating

13/03/2014 (14:30-19:00)

Please contact harc@rhul.ac.uk to reserve a place.

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HARC Dialogues: The Value of Eating

Dana Studio, Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

2.30-4.30pm ROUNDTABLE: Food Value and Gender: Mediated Consumption, Anxiety and Potentiality

Roundtable led by Ruth Cruickshank (Royal Holloway, University of London) who will be joined by Peter Jackson (University of Sheffield) and Joanne Hollows. 

5.30-7.00pm LECTURE: Physio-moral accounts: Eating pleasures and destructions

Annemarie Mol (University of Amsterdam) with a response from Philip Crang (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Eating is not just factual, it is also valuable. But how to value eating? There are many modes for doing so and in this presentation I will compare and contrast a few of them. Hence, I will come to talk about two clashing ways to establish when as a person one has had enough to eat: by counting calories ingested or by appreciating satisfaction. And what about efficiency? Economic calculations will say that it may be efficient to feed chicken and sell them as and when this generates a profit. Calculating nutrients, by contrast, suggests that it is most likely more efficient if humans directly eat the chicken feed. And then there is the moral conundrum that eating is destructive. Consumers destroy their foods. They may destroy a lot along with it, but at the same time heirloom vegetables or rare animal breeds only thrive thanks to some people’s willingness to eat them. Physio-moralities are complex. And this will be my conclusion: amidst the tensions and complexities laid out, it is impossible not to act, but moral comfort is nowhere to be found.


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