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Food becoming compost: encountering and negotiating disgust in household sustainability

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Human encounters with waste can trigger reflections on taken-forgranted

    assumptions about consumption. Taking this observation

    as its starting point, this paper explores whether and how the

    introduction of the kitchen caddy and food waste composting at

    the municipal scale generates new environmental subjectivities in

    Australian homes. Using visceral research methods, the paper

    shows that, other than participation in municipal composting,

    close encounters with food becoming compost do not trigger

    more experimental or sustainable relationships with food. Rather,

    they trigger new configurations of cleanliness, tidiness and

    storage as participants seek to stabilise their home against the

    disruptive sight, smell and touch of food becoming compost. In

    unsettling the boundaries between humans and nonhumans, and

    cleanliness and chaos, food becoming compost produces visceral

    disgust among residents who are primed through modern home

    cultures to maintain cleanliness, control and the prevention of

    nonhuman intrusions at home. The success of municipal

    composting thus hinges on households’ commitment to

    ‘sustainability work’ in placing, storing, cleaning and sealing food

    to reconfigure the modern home for waste recovery.

    Reconceptualising municipal composting as a co-production of

    sensory engagement and household practices, we centre a

    visceral politics of household sustainability at the heart of

    municipal composting and resource management.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Ames, E. & Cook, N. T. (2020). Food becoming compost: encountering and negotiating disgust in household sustainability. Australian Geographer, 51 (3), 325-339.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85087765357

Ro Full-text Url


  • https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1165&context=asshpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/asshpapers/159

Number Of Pages


  • 14

Start Page


  • 325

End Page


  • 339

Volume


  • 51

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • Human encounters with waste can trigger reflections on taken-forgranted

    assumptions about consumption. Taking this observation

    as its starting point, this paper explores whether and how the

    introduction of the kitchen caddy and food waste composting at

    the municipal scale generates new environmental subjectivities in

    Australian homes. Using visceral research methods, the paper

    shows that, other than participation in municipal composting,

    close encounters with food becoming compost do not trigger

    more experimental or sustainable relationships with food. Rather,

    they trigger new configurations of cleanliness, tidiness and

    storage as participants seek to stabilise their home against the

    disruptive sight, smell and touch of food becoming compost. In

    unsettling the boundaries between humans and nonhumans, and

    cleanliness and chaos, food becoming compost produces visceral

    disgust among residents who are primed through modern home

    cultures to maintain cleanliness, control and the prevention of

    nonhuman intrusions at home. The success of municipal

    composting thus hinges on households’ commitment to

    ‘sustainability work’ in placing, storing, cleaning and sealing food

    to reconfigure the modern home for waste recovery.

    Reconceptualising municipal composting as a co-production of

    sensory engagement and household practices, we centre a

    visceral politics of household sustainability at the heart of

    municipal composting and resource management.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Ames, E. & Cook, N. T. (2020). Food becoming compost: encountering and negotiating disgust in household sustainability. Australian Geographer, 51 (3), 325-339.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85087765357

Ro Full-text Url


  • https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1165&context=asshpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/asshpapers/159

Number Of Pages


  • 14

Start Page


  • 325

End Page


  • 339

Volume


  • 51

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • Australia