Let them eat cake : challenging the dominant discourses of food insecurity. Dr Kellie McNeill Department of Sociology University of Auckland Departmental Seminar Series 9 April, 2014. Menu of Myths. Food insecurity in Aotearoa ? Surely not!
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Let them eat cake: challenging the dominant discourses of food insecurity
Dr Kellie McNeill
Department of Sociology
University of Auckland
Departmental Seminar Series
9 April, 2014
“…exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”
“…limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways"
“at times, uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for all household members because they had insufficient money and other resources for food” (Nord, Andrews & Carlson, 2009, p.2).
The whole food [insecurity] thing can just put you in a very different space from other people, especially from those ones who…don’t really get it. No one likes missing out – sort of feeling like they can’t enjoy life in the same way as other people. I’ve been thinking about this a lot with the situation I’ve been in, and in my experience food can be a really big thing when it comes to showing up those kinds of differences. (Meredith)
I guess you just don’t want to be seen as not coping, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not coping. You kind of just work at keeping things looking good from the outside looking in. You’re doing your best, you know. And when you’re doing your best and still not cutting it, then you don’t really want other people rubbing your nose in it. (Sheryl)
People have got it wrong when they say you need three meals a day. No, that three meals a day thing – that’s crap. I look at it like this for me. I tell myself that I haven’t done a hard day’s work, so what have I got to be hungry for? (Wayne)
In a way, I’m just living healthier – that’s all it is. I’m eating in smaller portions, so really I’m just eating consistently healthier. And you just don’t really need the range of elaborate foods that everyone thinks you do… But I’ve been forced to think like that, which is kind of fucked actually. It’s rather...depriving. (Christina)
I think to myself that part of the reason that I’m fasting is that I want to master the hold and the addiction that my body has on food. (Sandy)
It’s normal for me to just have one meal a day. That’s my reality and I’m happy with that…Now that meal could be breakfast, lunch or tea – but for me it’s just that meal a day… In the evening I fill the time with cups of tea and coffee if I’m hungry. Just hot drinks. I drink hot water occasionally. (Wayne)
I’m sort of in a routine with the situation where I make a conscious decision and say to myself, “Right. This is where we’re at. I’m going to fast”, and I’ll just take fluids for the day... When I’m fasting I’m preserving food to meet my son’s needs. I will avoid doing the food because I know that there will be enough for him if I go without. (Sandy)
…I miss them [lunch and breakfast] altogether and just have dinner. Dinner is my main meal. I find that when I’m working I don’t eat as much. It keeps me busy and spares me a meal… I just go and have a cigarette and a cup of tea and that’s it – I’m back in there. (Rob)
I don’t usually eat until night time. If food’s running low I cut that evening meal out as well. Or I’ll have something that’s not a balanced meal. Like a sandwich or something. That happens more often than not. … I quite often have a coffee instead of an evening meal. (Faye)
…you quite often sort of end up just kind of concentrating on dealing to the hunger side rather than thinking too hard about what it is you’re actually eating. (Wayne)
The classical systems approach… is based on the assumption that a planning project can be organised into distinct phases: ‘understand the problem’, ‘gather the information’, ‘synthesize the information and wait for the creative leap’, ‘work out solutions’ and the like. For wicked problems, however, this type of scheme does not work.
(Rittel & Webber, 1973, p. 161)
“Food is an important part of a balanced diet”
Carter, K., Lalumata, T., Kruse, K., & Gorton, D. (2010). What are the determinants of food insecurity in New Zealand and does this differ for males and females? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, online.
McNeill (2011). Talking with Their Mouths Half Full: food insecurity in the Hamilton community. [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Ministry of Health. (2003). NZ Food NZ Children: findings of the 2002 National Children's Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Nord, M., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S. (2009). Household Food Security in the United States, 2008: Economic Research Report Number 83. USDA Economic Research Service.
Russell, D., Wilson, N., Parnell, W., & Faed, J. (1999). Key Results of the 1997 National Nutrition Survey. Ministry of Health. Wellington: Ministry of Health.