With the publication of the Manifesto for a New Nordic Cuisine in 2004, the gastronomic potentials of the Scandinavian flora and fauna became the basis for a social innovation project with ambitions far beyond fine dining and select produce. The proposed paper presents a research project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation which traces the evolution of the ‘New Nordic Food’ movement and charts the ways in which it has managed to hardwire the notion of ‘terroir’ and local typicality into a wide array of otherwise non-culinary agendas spanning from sustainable development to public health. In doing so, the project contributes to the study of issue-driven politics and nature-making practices in contemporary democracy, and explores what happens when complex and often diffuse societal concerns are made palatable and manifest through the food we eat and the geographies from which we source it. In particular, the paper will raise questions about the role of experts and the conditions of expertise in situations where knowledge is highly heterogeneous and experiments take place if not literally ‘in the wild’ among foragers and huntsmen, then to a large extent outside the confines of formal research, namely in the fields of growers, in the kitchens of chefs and on the plates and palates of the consumer. Furthermore, the edible character of the matter introduces some interesting synergies with related work on bodily registers and their affective capacities , and points attention to the ways in which more diffuse and complex issues become, quite literally, digestible and ‘metabolized’ through their partial mergers with the New Nordic Food agenda. Like so many other contemporary concerns, New Nordic Food brings to the fore our relationship with nature, except here as a promising and comforting rather than a threatening and uncertain liaison. When the Nordic landscapes and their flora and fauna become in this way ‘the stuff of politics’ , it warrants an exploration of both their co-constitutive role in the formation on publics and the ways in which they are themselves reconfigured as matters of concern in this process.
|Effective start/end date||01/01/2012 → 01/07/2014|