Fieldwork in 2006 was supported by a Small Research Grant from the British Academy (grant number SG-43053) and a grant from the Universities’ China Committee in London (UCCL). My 2008 fieldwork was funded by a Small Research Grant from the British Academy (grant number SG-50545). I would like to thank everyone at PEAC, Haobaoqing and Sino-Agriculture for their hospitality, time and patience. I am indebted to Miao Yun for her invaluable research assistance in 2008, and to Frank Pieke and an anonymous reviewer for their critical comments and helpful suggestions for improvement.
Creating ethical food consumers? Promoting organic foods in urban Southwest China†
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2009
© 2009 European Association of Social Anthropologists
Special Issue: Anthropology of contemporary China
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 74–89, February 2009
How to Cite
Klein, J. (2009), Creating ethical food consumers? Promoting organic foods in urban Southwest China. Social Anthropology, 17: 74–89. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8676.2008.00058.x
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2009
- organic foods;
- ethical consumption
The article discusses recent attempts by an environmental NGO to promote the consumption of organic foods among residents in Kunming, Southwest China. Far from being elitist, activists engaged with popular environmental culture and with widespread concerns around health and food safety, and echoed advertisers' messages that associated the ‘healthfulness’ of organic foods with ‘nature’. The article also discusses two private organic food enterprises. Like the NGO, these enterprises attempted to both engage with popular concerns and educate consumers, and it is argued that the study of environmentalism and ethical consumption in urban China should include both NGOs and profit-oriented enterprises.