Modes of reflexivity in community supported agriculture : the case of the people’s republic of delicious foods
As food has become unknowable, untrustworthy, and deleterious to all involved, people have responded with alternatives to the industrial agrifood system. One method in particular is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in which shares of a farming project are sold in advance of production. Although many particular aspects of production and distribution are unique to each endeavor, all CSAs allow members to act reflexively with their food source. Reflexivity is presented as a process of understanding the situation at-hand while matching it with ones’ own identity to produce social action. To examine reflexivity in CSA more intimately, a qualitative inquiry was undertaken. During the 2012 growing season, participants of The People’s Republic of Delicious Foods CSA were utilized to highlight reflexive practices. Reflexive eating was shown in members through the development of deeper connections with food and the strengthening of trust with farmers. Reflexive farming manifested as the application of knowledge and ethics by the farmer in order to cultivate relationships with members and to continue improving upon CSA. Reflexivity, both in farming and eating, exhibits meaningful engagement that expresses and promotes motives and concerns, imbued with politics. CSA provides the farming space to actively engage in reflexive behavior while nourishing a personal experience with agriculture and food. Working in tandem, reflexive farming and eating act as a mode to build trust for those involved and may alleviate problems associated with CSA. Although relatively small in size, CSA encourages reflexive behavior that may spark change well in to the future.
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