Images of foodscapes: Introduction to foodscape studies and their application in the study of healthy eating out-of-home environments

Aim This paper aims to explore the notion of foodscapes and discuss its relevance in understanding determinants of food behavior in institutional out-of-home eating environments

Bent Egberg Mikkelsen

2011

Scholarcy highlights

  • Food has an immense impact on our health
  • It can be concluded that the contributions to exploring the notion of foodscapes in the academic literature have increased rapidly over the past decade, with most contributions published within the past five years
  • The idea of foodscapes offers a convenient framework for viewing the complex settings where we, as individuals, meet food and meals in our daily life surroundings and the notion offers a good frame for understanding and analysing the food interactions we engage in with the environment, with other individuals, with food and meals, as well as with food-related strategies, ideas, policies and meanings
  • Foodscape studies are in many cases concerned with a critique of existing food environments and paradigms and contain a normative approach to ‘how things should be’
  • This normative approach seems to be most significant within public health nutrition and health promotion sciences, with more nutrition-friendly foodscapes being the objective
  • Within food research focused on sustainable and ethical food production and consumption trajectories, the foodscape notion has come into use with a clear normativity
  • Foodscapes as an analytical tool might be interesting to the wide range of researchers with different scientific backgrounds that have begun to study the role of the school food environment in recent years

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