Global ethical culinary fashion and a local dish: Organic hummus in Israel
That what appears as the embodiment of environmental ethics of localism over globalism (cutting down on the carbon footprint and eliminating toxins from the product life cycle for the benefit of both producers and the environment) can actually be seen as its opposite when the local value is transformed into a cosmopolitan one.
That even if organic is interpreted as an ethical watchword, what motivates consumers is often not high-minded ideals but a better consumer experience (taste, prestige, etc.).
This article traces the interplay between the global and the local through the example of hummus, which is analogous to the dynamics of organic and sustainable fashion. It argues that the global socio-economic conditions and ideas embedded in the concept of ‘organic’ allow the imagined re-localization of the dish. Like ethnic fashion, hummus used to represent rootedness, earthiness, and local simplicity but not fashionability. Nowadays, in its organic version, it wears an economic and symbolic framework of global values superimposed on the original local meanings, demonstrating a symbolic cosmopolitan and fashion-forward identity.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Publication date: 22 December 2011
Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty is the first journal dedicated to the critical examination of the fashion and the beauty systems as symbolic spaces of production and reproduction, representation and communication of artifacts, meanings, social practices, and visual or textual renditions of cloth, clothing and appearance.
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