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Practices of modest recuperation: Food, situated knowledge, and the politics of respect

Marja Vehviläinen


This article discusses food as a political object through an analysis of the practices of two non-governmental organizations that work with food production and the associated production of knowledge. Donna Haraway’s notions of situated knowledge, companion species, and the politics of respect are employed to build the methodological framework for the analysis. The analysis employs a qualitative empirical study of a large Finnish women’s organization working in the field of home economics, and a complementary study of an East London based feminist environmental organization. Both organizations work through local groups. Firstly, the article examines how these groups work with practices of food production, using the case of composting as an example. Composting food leftovers utilizes networks of companion species and their bio-socio-technical apparatuses across the globe, including—but not limited to—soil, worms, and waste management companies. Secondly, it shows how situated knowledge is produced by connecting research based knowledge and the experience based knowledge generated through material practices of food production and use. Finally, it discusses the ways in which communally produced situated knowledge facilitates the politics of respect in everyday practices of food production via networks of companion species for modest recuperation.


Situated knowledge; companion species; politics of respect; feminist food politics; non-governmental organizations; material-discursive practices of food

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