The unglamorous leek is an everyday foodstuff in a British supermarket, but its meaning is constructed through the interplay of a range of non-human materialities including the plant, its packaging and its information dense labels. This chapter examines the variations in the ways in which leeks are marketed in different supermarkets, with a particular focus on how they can be traced back to their roots in British fields. We examine the ways in which non-human and virtual entities ‘bring to life’ the human producers of the leeks in a bid to mimic the reconnection that is sought through local food systems. We use the example of the leeks to explore what is happening to food supply chains, urban-rural connections and rural representations as farmers and retailers build new modes of working and as social media tools open up virtual access to the people growing our food.
Kneafsey, M., Venn, L. and Bos, E. (2017), "Consuming Rural Connections: Tracing Leeks Back to Their Roots", Transforming the Rural (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 24), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 221-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1057-192220170000024011
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