Virtual vegetables and adopted sheep: ethical relation, authenticity and Internet-mediated food production technologies
Associating ideas related to cultural geographies of ‘quality’ food production and consumption with recent discussion of Internet technologies, virtuality and simulation, this paper examines two newly constituted Internet enterprises offering customers ‘virtual’ experiences of food production, and ‘quality’ food products in which they have invested. The paper shows how these enterprises are associated with particular types of geographical and ethical relation, and a search for ‘authentic’, connected, relationships with food, farming, locality and ‘nature’. These relationships are constituted in an assemblage of things held together by flows of food, products, money and electronic communication. The paper ends by suggesting a number of theoretical ideas that might usefully be explored in empirical research into Internet-mediated food production.