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Pickles, Beets, and Bread: Examining Traditional Food Knowledge in a Rural Albertan Community

  • Author / Creator
    Braun, Jennifer A
  • The globalization and industrialization of the agri-food system over the past fifty years has been linked to declining knowledge and skills in the general population related to growing, preserving and cooking food. In rural communities, loss of this knowledge and associated culture and traditions has been further exacerbated by depopulation due to outmigration and the subsequent erosion of social and physical infrastructure. This research focuses on a group of women and their children, based in a small rural community in Alberta, Canada, who are actively engaged in utilizing and mobilizing traditional food knowledge in the daily lives of their families and in their communities through the practices of gardening, cooking and canning. Findings from this study revealed four conditions influencing the continuation of these social practices among the research participants: the experience and history of scarcity, normative expectations, a close connection to family, and development of a community of practice. This study illustrates the relevance of a social practice framework for examining food knowledge and skills, and furthermore points to the potential of this approach for understanding and promoting pro-environmental behaviour and sustainable consumption in the food system.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R34M56
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
  • Specialization
    • Rural Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Mary Beckie, Faculty of Extension
    • Dr. Naomi Krogman, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Chloe Taylor, Department of Women's Studies
    • Dr. John Parkins, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology