Congratulations to ISG Lecturer, Dr. Rachel Vaughn, and former ISG Post-doctoral Fellow, Dr. Sarah E. Tracy, for their recent publication on “Edible Feminisms: On Commodities, Wastes, and (Un)intended Consequences,” a special issue of Food Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (August 2019, Taylor & Francis). For links to the issue, editors introduction and contributors, including ISG scholars Dr. Hannah Landecker and Dr. Rachel Lee see: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rffc20/0/0
For information on the UCLA Luskin grant-funded workshop that sparked the issue please see: https://csw.ucla.edu/ed-fem
This article examines the recent influx of post-partum placenta encapsulation, especially in a US context. I analyze placental reuse, and its biomedical risk narratives, through an interwoven exploration of the curative and toxic aspects of human placenta, to understand increased cultural value placed upon this organ as an object of nutritional interest and tension. Placenta consumption as vitamin source pushes the socio-cultural boundaries of disgust through its discard (re)commodification. I argue that attempts to market and eat otherwise wasted material as functional food source raise important feminist questions about the vitality of this discarded matter and the paucity of research on one of the most crucial mediators of early human nutrition.
To read more of Vaughn’s publication, please click here.