East Asian Food Regimes: Agrarian Warriors, Edamame Beans, and Spatial Topologies of Food Regimes in East Asia

Authors: Kuan-chi Wang*, University of Oregon
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Political Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: agrarian-scientific institution, corporate-environmental food regime, East Asian food regime, edamame
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Endymion, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Recent years have witnessed a burgeoning body of work thinking differently about food regimes. Drawing on the concepts of a corporate food regime and a corporate-environmental food regime, this paper highlights the constituent parts of East Asian food regimes, addressing the food regime transition that has taken place in the region. The first part of the paper addresses the role played by agrarian-scientific institutions in this transition; specifically, it investigates the spatial topologies, political economy, histories and socio-cultural contexts of agrarian knowledge production and practices that have conditioned East Asia’s transition to a corporate-environmental food regime. The second part offers an analysis of a specific food commodity – edamame beans – to illustrate how East Asian food regimes have changed as they have been incorporated into a corporate-environmental food regime. In investigating the evolution of edamame production and trade, I analyze how edamame production and trade has been reorganized under this new regime. My study argues that broadening the conversation about the food regimes approach requires a regional-geographic perspective in order to understand the spatial topologies, uneven development and socio-cultural-ecological differentiation characteristic of food regimes.

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