Hidden Hunger: A Political Ecology of Food and Nutrition in the Kumaon Hills
AuthorNichols, Carly Ellen
Food and Nutrition Security
AdvisorDel Casino, Vincent
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRecently, India has come under increasing scrutiny for its failure to improve food and nutrition security (FNS). Prominent governmental and nongovernmental development strategies addressing FNS include promoting horticultural crops to increase incomes, distributing food, and providing nutritional education. These programs, however, have seen mixed results. Analyzing qualitative data collected in the summer of 2013, this paper examines programs in Uttarakhand, India where hunger has been eradicated, yet malnutrition persists. I suggest that the intersection of horticultural development with existing gendered labor practices helps explain why malnutrition remains a problem despite high program functionality. Specifically, I find that inequitable gendered labor burdens are largely responsible for poor eating practices and lowered nutritional levels. I argue that interventions to improve FNS reinscribe and legitimize these burdens by promulgating a discourse situating the problem with women, whose lack of education or poor time management is seen as the source of the problem. Additionally, I find that horticultural development leads to increased reliance on market-based foods, which villagers find less nutritious. Following Mansfield (2011) I employ the concept of food as a “vector of intercorporeality” (Stassart and Whatmore 2003:449) to unpack why health perceptions are entwined in shifting landscapes of agricultural production and food consumption. I bring this conceptualization into conversation with the notion of social reproduction, investigating the human and nonhuman bodies that produce economic, ecological, and health outcomes. I argue that who, or what, these bodies are and the relations in which they are entangled matter to both material and social concerns.
Degree ProgramGraduate College