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The contradictions of a superfood consumerism in a postfeminist, neoliberal world

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tina Sikka



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019, © 2019 Association for the Study of Food and Society. This article examines the rise in the consumption of superfoods as a normative food trend among affluent groups in the global North that has embedded itself in Western food culture. It is argued that superfoods are a marker of idealized identity that is mobilized using neoliberal, postfeminist, and food justice discourses. The article examines the visual and textual framings of these products as they are implicitly and explicitly taken up on social media. In particular, it examines the material and ideological outcomes of tensions between the binaries of plenty and constraint, “clean” and “dirty” foods, and individual identity and conformity as they are expressed in the visual and textual discourse surrounding foods like goji berries, chia seeds, maca powder, and hemp. Also examined are the effects of a kind of body entrepreneurism that is encouraged by these discourses, which further pathologizes non-conforming bodies and produces, on the part of the consumer, corporal anxiety and a pained relationship with food.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sikka T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food, Culture and Society

Year: 2019

Volume: 22

Issue: 3

Pages: 354-375

Online publication date: 27/03/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 19/12/2018

ISSN (print): 1552-8014

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7443

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2019.1580534


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